It was a close race, but the $14 million 17-C School Bond appeared to be a winner, according to voting results as of 11 p.m.Tuesday.
At the same time, voters in both Curry and Coos county resoundingly rejected a $9 million Southwestern Oregon Community College bond. Approximately $3 million of that bond would have been used for construction of a college building in Brookings.
Of the 11,401 ballots returned by voters, about 56 percent had been counted by press time.
The numbers showed the 17-C School Bond winning by a slim margin: 52 percent yes, 48 percent no.
I just hope we can maintain that gap and prevail in the end, said Larry Anderson, a leading member of the Schools Designed for Learning Committee, which promoted the bond heavily.
If the school bond is ultimately approved, it would pay for remodeling several of the Brookings four schools and new construction that would help alleviate crowded conditions.
The improvements focus particularly on classrooms, cafeteria space and a grade school multi-purpose room.
Two previous school district bonds have been rejected by voters by a substantial margin.
Committee members had spent more than 18 months designing and then campaigning for the bond.
The fact that the race was so close on Tuesday was encouraging to some committee members.
A lot of people gave it good consideration and thats all we can ask, said committee member Bill Ferry.
The committee raised nearly $3,000 to promote the school bond. Most of the money was used to make some 3,000 eight-inch pins, signs and flyers all featuring a checked box and the words 17-C Bond Education.
The committee also mailed to voters a fact sheet explaining the bond proposal and why it should be passed.
The committee originally presented projects totaling about $21 million to the school board. The board, listening to voters, pared it back to $14 million, including $1 million to be used for heavy maintenance on the school buildings.
The yearly cost of the school bond, if approved, for the owner of a home assessed at $75,000 would be $82 a month; for a $100,000 home, $109, and $150,000, $164 a year.
Broken down to monthly costs, it would be $6.82 for a $75,000 home; $9.08 for a $100,00 home and $13.63 for a $150,000 home.
The cost per day would range from 23 to 45 cents.
As for the $ 9 million Southwestern Oregon Community College bond, voters overwhelming said no.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the total number of voters in Curry and Coos County who voted no was 15,742. The number of voters in the two counties that voted for the bond was 5,094.
Unlike the $15 million bond put out by the college in the May primary election, this bond was not being formally promoted.
If approved, the bond would have raised taxes by 12.4 cents per $1,000 of property value, amounting to an extra $12.40 per year for a $100,000 house.
As in the last bond proposal, money raised in each county would have been used there. Curry taxpayers would have paid for the new Brookings-Harbor building. Coos taxpayers would have paid for improvements to the Coos Bay campus.
Even if the college bond had passed, the campus is still looking for a site in Brookings for the proposed building.
Associate Dean Peggy Goergen said the college is currently looking at 13 properties , but are all too expensive. At least they are big enough and close enough to town, she said.
The Harris Beach Visitors Center is no longer under consideration. Goergen said that door was closed when the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation received about 80 complaint letters from Brookings residents.
The parks department has so far been unable to move the visitors center to the California border. When that happens, said Goergen, the Harris Beach site will become a group campground.