PORT ANGELES — Voters in three Clallam County school districts will decide four school measures in a special election Tuesday.
Ballots are due by 8 p.m. Tuesday for voters in the Port Angeles, Crescent and Cape Flattery school districts.
The Clallam County Auditor’s Office had accepted 8,339 ballots as of Friday of the 24,830 mailed to registered voters in the three districts. That’s an early turnout of 33.6 percent. Damon Townsend, acting elections manager, said that now Clallam County reports only ballots that have been accepted, meaning that their signatures have been verified and other checks made. More may have been received, but only those accepted by Friday are included in the statistics.
Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or dropped off no later than 8 p.m. that day at any Auditor’s Office drop box location.
Drop boxes are available at the Clallam County Courthouse at 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles, in front of the Clallam Bay Library at 16990 state Highway 112 in Clallam Bay, Washburn’s General Store at 1450 Bayview Ave. in Neah Bay and at the Clallam County Public Utility District office at 15 Sekiu Airport Road in Sekiu.
The Port Angeles School District is seeking voter approval of a $52.6 million, five-year capital projects levy to fund expansion and remodeling of Stevens Middle School and begin a 30-year plan to upgrade the district’s other schools.
The Crescent School District in Joyce is seeking voter approval of two levies: a replacement educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy of $520,000 for four years and a four-year capital projects levy that would provide $500,000 for work on school facilities.
The Cape Flattery School District has placed on the ballot an EP&O levy of about $360,000 for each of the next four years.
All four measures require a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote to pass.
In Port Angeles, Proposition 1 would raise the school district’s local levy rate by $2.62 per $1,000 of assessed value and result in a $4.12 total school levy.
A $2.62 levy increase is equal to a $655 property tax increase for the owner of a $250,000 home.
The measure would generate an estimated $52.6 million over five years and fund the expansion and remodel of Stevens Middle School and re-establish a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school system.
It would trigger a 30-year plan to upgrade aging facilities at Franklin, Hamilton and Roosevelt elementary schools and Port Angeles High School, all of which are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, district officials said.
District officials have posted information about the levy proposal at www.portangelesschools.org.
Citizens for Affordable Schools opposes the levy at www.stoppaschooltax.com.
In Joyce, Proposition 1 would replace an expiring levy for educational programs and operations. The levy rate would be $1.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Proposition 2 would raise additional funds for construction, modernization and remodeling of school facilities. The levy rate would be $0.348 per $1,000 valuation.
“When packaged together, the total rate is less than what was asked for in 2016,” Crescent School District Superintendent and Principal David Bingham said, referring to the district’s last successful levy.
Bingham said the two propositions are important for the district to maintain such programs as music and band and to maintain nurses and counselors for students.
The funds would be used for locker room improvements like private showers and other upgrades like a backup generator for the kitchen/cafeteria and septic system pump.
Bingham said there had been no active opposition to the Crescent school measures as there had been in neighboring Port Angeles.
“I feel cautiously optimistic,” Bingham said.
Information on the two ballot propositions is available at the “Crescent School Levy 2020” Facebook page.
The Cape Flattery School District is asking voters to approve Proposition 1, an EP&O levy that would set the levy rate at $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation and generate about $360,000 in each of the next four years.
District Superintendent Michelle Parkin said the funds would be used to provide services that go beyond core areas like social and emotional learning, problem-solving and life skills.
“The really important piece that passing this levy provides us is the opportunity to receive levy equalization money,” Parkin said.
Cape Flattery School District would be eligible for $575,000 in levy equalization funds if the measure is approved, Parkin said.
Two years ago, voters in the Cape Flattery School District approved a $275,000 annual levy with a rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
“We appreciate all of the support that our communities have demonstrated to our children in the past,” Parkin said.
Proposition 1 needs a simple majority and a 560-vote turnout to pass.
“Please don’t forget to vote,” Parkin said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at email@example.com.