The Coulee Area Park & Recreation District appeared to be on its way to victory in Tuesday’s election, in which it is asking voters to approve a levy of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Election totals from the four-county area included in the recreation district will not be available, election officials stated, until Friday.
At 8:45 p.m. Tuesday night, and at press time, the district was winning its bid with voters with 700 “yes” votes and 543 “no” votes.
The district, since it was formed in 2003, has been without funding, and only recently received some funds from Grand Coulee, Electric City, and Coulee Dam, when it agreed to take over the maintenance of North Dam Park. Those funds came from the municipalities’ hotel/motel tax money.
This was the district’s second effort to gain tax revenue via voter approval to run the district.
District Chairman Phil Hansen was elated when he heard the early returns. “It looks like we have enough to validate,” he said.
The parks and recreation district follows the boundaries of the Grand Coulee Dam School District and lies within four counties: Okanogan, Grant, Douglas and Lincoln.
The early returns from the four counties were: Douglas, 59 yes and 36 no; Grant, 381 yes and 301 no; Lincoln, 50 yes and 38 no; and Okanogan County, 210 yes and 168 no.
The returns are partial and were still coming in at The Star’s deadline.
If the favorable vote continues, it will mean that taxpayers will provide $15 for a $100,000 residence.
The district plans to use the tax funds for matching money for possible grants and to help in the upkeep of North Dam Park and Event Center.