Voters Decide Funding Measures In Three Area School Districts
Separate bond issues to address facility needs in the Cedar Falls and Denver school districts failed for a second time on Tuesday (June 30, 2015), while voters in Waterloo overwhelmingly agreed to renew a school building maintenance levy another 10 years.
Voters were asked to approve a $35 million referendum to finance planned improvements at Orchard Hill and North Cedar elementary schools. The bond issue also would have generated money to finance construction of a new elementary school in the district.
The bond issue received just over 57-percent voter approval, with 4,527 saying "yes" and 3,367 saying "no. Despite a significant gain in supporters, the measure failed to receive the 60-percent voter approval needed for passage.
According to the Black Hawk County auditor's office, nearly 28-percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Tuesday's election. By comparison, 34-percent went the polls in September, when the issue was first rejected.
"We appreciate the community’s thorough look at this vote," Cedar Falls Schools Superintendent Andy Pattee said in a statement released following Tuesday's decision. "We are proud of the majority vote in favor of the needed facility additions and renovations in the Cedar Falls Community School District with over 1,200 more people voting yes for this proposal. The election is over, but the work isn’t done. It’s a question of how to get it done as the district continues to face enrollment growth and capacity challenges now and into the future."
A $7.35 million referendum fell just 12 votes short of passing. Money generated from the bond issue would have financed construction of a new gymnasium and performing arts center near the district's athletic complex on the city's southwest side.
The measure unofficially garnered 59.1-percent support, but needed 60-percent voter approval to pass. According to Bremer County election officials, 825 voters favored the referendum, while 570 cast ballots against it.
Renewal of the school district's physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) passed easily on Tuesday. Unofficial election results show the measure garnered 81-percent voter approval.
According to unofficial figures from the Black Hawk County auditor's office, 1,170 voters favored renewing the measure, while 266 said "no".
The levy generates money to fund building maintenance needs in Waterloo. The new PPEL goes into effect in 2018 and basically extends the current PPEL, which expires in 2017.