The Ocosta School District asked residents it serves in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties to pay more than $8.5 million over six years for various needs on Tuesday’s Special Election ballot, but the vote count is leaning toward approval of only one of two propositions: The main replacement levy and supplemental request, known as Proposition No. 1. Results for the capital levy for improvements, Proposition No. 2, are too close to call with only nine more votes made in opposition than in favor.
Totals for Ocosta’s replacement maintenance and operations levy, Proposition No. 1, are 604 votes (52.7 percent) cast in favor and 543 votes (47.3 percent) against it district wide. In Grays Harbor County, 495 people (51.3 percent) voted for it and 469 (48.7 percent) opposed it. Pacific County voters came out more often in support of the proposition, percentage wise: 109 (59.6 percent) voted to approve and only 74 (40.4 percent) voted against it.
This is a three-year replacement maintenance and operations levy in effect from 2018-2020. The estimated amount of $2 million each year would be assessed at $2.75 per $1,000 property value for a total of $6 million at the end of the levy. This funding would support more than 20 percent of the district’s operations.
The capital levy for improvements, Proposition No. 2, has received more votes against it district wide but the spread is by a mere nine votes: 580 votes (50.4 percent) no and 571 (49.6 percent) yes. Grays Harbor County residents cast 501 votes (51.8 percent) against and 467 votes (48.2 percent) in favor. Pacific County voters are favoring the levy: 104 voters (56.8 percent) are for it while 79 voters (43.2 percent) are against it.
This proposition would authorize the district to levy excess taxes to make health, safety and energy efficiency improvements. This six-year levy begins in 2018 and ends in 2023. The annual goal is $425,000 based on an assessment of 58 cents per $1,000 in assessed value. The total six-year levy would be $2.55 million.
Pacific County’s next update to results is scheduled on Friday.
Several other ballot measures were presented to voters in portions of Grays Harbor County and surrounding areas:
Cosmopolis School District’s Proposition No. 1, calls for dissolution and reappointment of directors’ districts and looks to have been approved by a wide margin. It garnered 220 votes (78 percent) in favor and 62 votes (22 percent) against. This proposition would authorize the district to dissolve its five existing directors’ districts and reapportion the district into three director districts. Each would have an elected representative, and two directors elected at-large. The idea is to further encourage citizens to serve on the board.
City of Montesano, Proposition No. 1, a levy for fire safety and emergency services, has been approved. There have been 571 votes (58.6 percent) in favor and 404 votes (41.4 percent) against. This proposition would increase the city’s regular property tax levy to a total authorized rate up to $3.73 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That would be an estimated increase of 95 cents per $1,000 assessment over the 2017 levy. The 2017 levy amount would be used to recalculate subsequent levy limits for up to nine years and collection would begin in 2018.
Fire District 7, Proposition No. 1 (2017), focuses on emergency medical care and ambulance service. It obtained heavy support by voters: 154 people (80.6 percent) voted yes and only 37 people (19.4 percent) voted no. This proposal is for a tax levy of $85,000, approximately 59 cents per $1,000 of 2017 assessed valuation, in addition to its regular levy to be collected for emergency medical care and ambulance service to its citizens in 2018. The district is based in Ocean City.
Fire District 10, Proposition No. 1, is an Emergency Medical Services 10-year regular levy and it also appears to have received a favorable vote outcome with 152 yes votes (65.2 percent) and 81 no votes (34.8 percent). This request to levy a regular property tax of 50 cents per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation begins in 2017. It would to be collected for 10 years beginning in 2018 to provide emergency medical services. The district is based in Wishkah.
Fire Protection District, Mason County No. 12, requests a property tax levy lid lift. Voters in Grays Harbor and Mason counties were very much in favor of this proposal. Together, there were 195 votes (66.5 percent) in favor and 98 votes (33.5 percent) against. Mason County voters far outnumbered those in Grays Harbor. Supporting this proposal there were 176 voters (67.2 percent) and against it were only 86 voters (32.8 percent). In Grays Harbor, 19 people (61.3 percent) voted yes and 12 people (38.7 percent) voted no.