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Park & rec levy looking at defeat


The Coulee Area Park & Recreation District’s effort to get public funding was looking like it would fail as of Tuesday afternoon.

By Friday, the combined yes votes from the district boundaries in the four counties showed that it had 1,036 yes votes and 779 no votes for a 57.08 favorable return. But the measure needed 60 percent yes votes to pass.

The outcome was not certain Tuesday, as Okanogan County election officials stated that there were still about 4,000 ballots to count. One official stated that he didn’t know how many of the ballots contained the parks & recreation issue. He said all the ballots would be counted by sometime Wednesday.

District Chairman Phil Hansen said Tuesday that he doesn’t see the district running a new levy election “anytime soon.”

Hansen said the district still has the “North Dam Park and the aqua park project still to work on, so we will have plenty to do.”

Douglas County gave the district its best return on the operation and maintenance levy, showing that 59.17 percent were in favor of public funding. There were 100 yes votes there, compared to 69 no votes.

Grant County produced the most votes, with 513 in favor (56.87 percent) and 389 against.

Lincoln County came in with 73 yes votes (54.07 percent) and 62 no votes.

In Okanogan County, 350 yes votes (57.47 percent) stacked up against 259 no votes.

If the levy were to pass, it would mean that the recreation district, which follows the boundary of the Grand Coulee Dam School District, would collect 15 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value from property owners, or $15 per $100,000 of valuation.

The district had hoped for passage so it could use the estimated $35,000 as matching funds for possible grant monies.

Hansen said he was “somewhat disappointed.” It was the second time the district’s efforts with voters has failed, that is, if Wednesday’s final count doesn’t change things.

“Our commissioners plan to get together to discuss the results soon,” Hansen said.

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