As for this month’s results from the primary election, the MCBOE reports 22 provisional ballots were counted into the final tallies with no results being changed. Obviously, there were some “incremental” changes but nothing which would affect the outcome of individual races or issues.
Yesterday was also the filing deadline for the Aug. 3 special election which will contain only the Southern bond issue/maintenance levy and only be held in voting precincts within the school district. This means Southern will be responsible for the costs of the special election which cannot be known until after it’s held. Cost estimates are anywhere from $5,000 - $6,000 though if the issue passes, Southern stands to gain $7.4 million in state money to build a new high school — 75 percent of the construction costs.
The bond issue/maintenance levy, if passed, will finance the remaining 25 percent of construction costs for the new high school. This same issue/levy failed by 83 votes in this month’s primary election; a election which saw a less than 20 percent voter turnout. Low voter turnout is one reason why Southern officials decided to give the issue/levy another attempt, feeling the lackluster turnout wasn’t a true reflection of the entire district.
The wording/millage for the bond issue/maintenance levy which will appear on the Aug. 3 ballot is identical to the one that appeared on the ballot in the May 4 primary election. Nothing has changed. The local share to build the new high school (the bond issue) will be calculated at 2.7 mills to generate around $3.9 million. This is to be repaid over a maximum period of 37 years. The 2.7 mills is for each one dollar of tax valuation, which amounts to 27 cents for each $100 of tax valuation. The bond issue comes with a required .5 mill maintenance levy for the new building, if it’s built. However, this maintenance levy would not go into effect until a similar maintenance levy for the elementary school expires in 2021.
There are six precincts in the Southern Local School District, including part of Lebanon Township, all of Letart Township and Sutton Township which encompasses Racine Village, the Racine precinct, Syracuse Village and Minersville. The special election will require 24 poll workers. The district will be paying for these poll workers to work the election as well as other expenses, including ballots, etc.