Brinnon, Queets Clearwater initial results approve school levies

PORT TOWNSEND — Brinnon School District voters approved continuing a maintenance and operation levy while a small number of votes in the Queets Clearwater School District levy election appeared to approve it in the initial count of ballots tonight.

The proposed two-year Brinnon School District levy received 286 votes, or 60.85 percent, approving it and 184 votes, or 39.15 percent, rejecting it.

The proposed three-year Queets Clearwater School District levy received 10 votes, or 58.82 percent, approving it and 7 votes, or 41.18 percent, rejecting it.

As of tonight, 471 voters out of 1,014 registered had returned ballots in the Brinnon School District for a voter turnout of 46.45 percent. In the Queets Clearwater School District, 17 of 104 voters had returned ballots, a turnout of 16.35 percent.

Both need a 50 percent majority plus one for approval.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted a total of 488 ballots tonight with none left on hand uncounted. Ballots mailed to registered voters numbered 1,118, so the voter turnout was 43.65 percent.

The next count will be by 3 p.m. Friday.

“I don’t want to venture a guess” as to how many ballots will come in later this week, said Betty Johnson, election coordinator.

Voters in the Brinnon School District were asked to continue paying the same tax levy they paid in 2017 — with a cost of living increase in 2019 — while voters in the Queets Clearwater School District near Forks were considering a maintenance and operations levy that would extend through 2021.

Under the proposal, in 2018, the Brinnon School District would levy $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, meaning the owners of a $200,000 home could expect to pay about $232. That would be expected to raise $314,681 for the district.

In 2019, the Brinnon School District would levy about $1.19 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, meaning the owners of a $200,000 home could expect to pay $238. That would be expected to raise $320,975.

Officials have said replacing the levy would help programs such as the district’s free preschool for Brinnon residents, a program that provided six swimming lessons for each of the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school’s approximately 69 students and allow the district to have meals prepared on site.

The Queets Clearwater School District maintenance and operations levy would collect about $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation and would raise $75,000.

That would cost about $300 for a $200,000 home.

It would be collected in 2019 through 2021.

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