BRINNON — More than 60 percent of Brinnon School District voters have approved an Educational Programs & Operations levy.
The Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) had won 271 votes, or 66.10 percent as of Tuesday night’s initial vote count.
“We are cautiously optimistic about the levy passing and we appreciate the support of our very generous community,” said Trish Beathard, superintendent of the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Brinnon School District.
“I think that this is a show of support from the community. They support our school and our children, I appreciate that.”
The levy requires a simple majority of 50 percent plus one to pass, officials said.
Fourteen of the ballots are challenged (lacking/questionable signature) and the remaining ballots will be counted by 4 p.m. on Friday, according to Election Coordinator Quinn Grewell.
Voters with challenged ballots have until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 to resolve the issues, Grewell said.
The final election certification will be t 1 p.m. Feb. 21 by the canvassing board.
The EP&O levy is an approximately $600,000 levy that at most would have property owners paying $1.02 per $1,000 assessed value, which is similar to the current rates of the EP&O levy, Beathard said.
The EP&O levy supports the free preschool program for 3- and 4-year-old Brinnon students; supplements the breakfast and lunch program; helps with building maintenance and repairs, utility and operating expenses.
It also helps with required fees for sending high school students to neighboring districts; as well as an extra day of counseling for student and classroom support and unfunded educational programs, Beathard said.
The preschool program specifically has a large class of 14 students, Beathard said.
The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 904 ballots of the 1,116 that were collected by Tuesday night, and 1,274 ballots were returned by Wednesday for Brinnon and Quilcene voters.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].