Posted 2/09/16 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
Divide County voters narrowly approved a ballot proposal Tuesday that would permit up to $9.9 million in bonds for school district building projects.
According to preliminary results, the proposal earned 287 of 470 votes, or about 61 percent, compared to 183 votes in opposition, placing it above the 60 percent threshold needed to pass.
The school board held its regular monthly meeting after the polls closed, and Superindent Sherlock Hirning received and announced the unofficial vote count to board members.
“It was worth all our time and effort,” Hirning said.
Board members said they were pleased with the outcome, but the strongest reactions were to how closely divided the count was, with just a few votes’ difference between passage and failure.
“That’s as close as close can be,” Board Member Stephanie Reistad said. “Wow. Every vote mattered.”
Last year, 80 percent of voters rejected a measure twice as large.
New geothermal heating systems, more storage space, three or four additional classrooms and renovation of others are planned for both school buildings, plus an elevator at the elementary.
The board met again after press time this week to canvass the votes and to review construction manager proposals.
School board election coming
Three school board seats are up for election in June. The terms of Board President Pete Fagerbakke and fellow members Catherine Lystad and Coby Hubble are expiring. So far, only Hubble has declared he will run again.
The deadline for candidates to petition for a spot on the ballot is April 4.