Elma voters reject $66 million bond; Ocosta voters approve levy renew

A $66 million bond measure for the Elma School District failed by a large margin on Tuesday, while the Ocosta School District replacement levy passed by a majority.

Voters in the Elma area were being asked to approve the bond measure to address needs identified by a recent community-based facilities study. 

Ballot results following the initial count on Tuesday show 65% of voters rejected the bond. This is the 8th time since 1992 that a bond has failed to pass within the district, according to officials.

The cost to residents, if passed, would have added approximately $67 per month for homes with an assessed value of $300,000.

The $66 million ask would have been used to build a new 4th-6th grade elementary school, construct and improve existing athletic facilities, update parking, and provide improvements to the 7th – 12th grade career and technical related learning facilities.

According to the district, these costs are expected to continue to rise and the overall price tag would increase for future requests.

Within the Ocosta School District, voters approved a replacement to the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy on Tuesday with 58% voting for the funding.

This is not a new tax but a replacement for the previous EP&O levy.

This levy will continue funding extracurricular activities, athletics, and other educational programs for Ocosta students. 

Property owners in the Ocosta School District were told that the current Capital Projects Levy is scheduled to drop off the rolls at the end of 2023, lessening the tax burden on the property owner by $.42 per $1000 of assessed value despite the outcome of the election.

Overall turnout was around 30% for both districts, despite having low initial turnout leading up the Special Election.