Quilcene, Brinnon school levies passing after first count in special election

Three measures seeing approval

PORT TOWNSEND — Voters in the Quilcene and Brinnon school districts approved levies after the first count today in the special election.

Quilcene School District asked voters to approve two levies: an Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy and a capital levy.

The EP&O levy gained 303 votes, or 61.84 percent, while the capital levy won 261 votes, or 53.16 percent.

Voters approved the Brinnon School District EP&O levy with 271 votes, or 66.10 percent, to 139 votes or 33.90 percent.

All three levies require a simple majority of 50 percent plus one to pass, officials said.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 904 ballots tonight. The next count will be Friday by 4 p.m., according to Election Coordinator Quinn Grewell.

The four-year approximately $2.4 million EP&O levy for Quilcene (Proposition 1) is a replacement of the current levy.

If passed, property owners will pay the same $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value as they have been paying, said Frank Redmon, Quilcene School District superintendent.

The EP&O levy helps support the district’s breakfast and lunch program, a full-time counselor, district transportation, and allows the district to have single grade classrooms and art and music programs, Redmon said.

The capital levy (Proposition 2) for Quilcene would have property owners paying an additional $1.97 per $1,000 assessed value.

It would be in place for two years for a total of $1.63 million in preparation for a possible bond proposal, Redmon said.

The capital levy would be used to fix facility issues such as replacing the bus barn, moving the barn to across Rose Street and moving the student bus pick-up and drop-off to the same side of the street as the school — so students no longer have to cross the street to get to and from the buses — while updating the parent drop-off area to make it more “efficient for the parents and safer for the students,” Redmon said.

The capital levy also would help fund long term facility planning to replace the aging elementary school through a possible future bond and allow work to begin on an outdoor educational space, Redmon said.

The Brinnon EP&O levy (Proposition 1) 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, said Trish Beathard, Brinnon School District superintendent.

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 and 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.

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<strong>Matthew Nash</strong>/Olympic Peninsula News Group
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