PORT TOWNSEND — Voters approved annexation of Port Townsend into the East Jefferson Fire Rescue District by a large margin in the first count of today’s special election.
Voters also approved two property tax measures for the Port Townsend School District.
The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 6,238 ballots of the 17,984 provided registered voters tonight, for a voter turnout of 34.69 percent. The next count will be by 4 p.m. Friday.
All three measures were approved overwhelmingly.
The annexation question was approved in the City of Port Townsend by 2,028 votes or 69.26 percent in favor, to 900 votes, or 30.74 percent opposed.
In the East Jefferson Fire Rescue District, the tally was 2,099 votes, or 67.84 percent in favor to 995 votes, or 32.16 percent opposed.
The annexation measure was required to be approved by a simple majority in both the city of Port Townsend and in the East Jefferson Fire Rescue district which includes the unincorporated communities of Cape George, Chimacum, Irondale, Kala Point, Marrowstone Island and Port Hadlock.
The intention is to simplify fire services within Port Townsend, proponents say.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue now provides fire and emergency medical services in Port Townsend by contract. If the annexation is approved, then residents of Port Townsend would be qualified to serve as commissioners of the district. The district would be able to levy property taxes in the city and the maximum available city property tax levy would be reduced by the amount of the district property tax levy.
Also requiring simple majorities for passage were an educational programs and school support levy to replace one that will expire in December and a $3.625 million capital levy to replace one competed in 2016.
The educational levy won with 3,145 votes, or 66.49 percent, in favor and 1,585 votes, or 33.51 percent, opposed.
The capital levy won with 3,082 votes or 65.17 percent in favor and 1,647 votes or 34.83 percent opposed.
Both Port Townsend School District measures required simple majorities of 50 percent plus one to pass. Both will be collected over a three-year period.
The replacement levy would support expenses not funded by the state such as library, arts, nutrition and wellness, special education, maritime programs and extracurricular activities.
Collected in 2020-2022, the estimated levy rate per $1,000 assessed value would be $1.08 in 2020, collecting $3.03 million; $1.12 in 2021, collecting $3.195 million; and $1.15 million in 2022, collecting $3.375 million, totalling $9.6 million.
The capital levy would be used to support construction, modernization and remodeling of school facilities.
Collected in 2020-22, the estimated levy rate per $1,000 of assessed value would be $0.45 in 2020, collecting $$1.25 million; $0.42 in 2021, collecting $1.2 million; and $0.40 in 2022, collecting $1.175.
For more on the school levies, see http://www.ptschools.org/levy.