Goskagit

MOUNT VERNON — Early results from Tuesday’s special election show two of three Skagit County public school districts having something to celebrate, and the third hopeful it can pick up votes.

Voters in the Concrete and La Conner school districts are approving their districts’ measures with plenty of breathing room as levy requests need a simple majority for approval.

Meanwhile, the Mount Vernon School District’s two levies are failing.

Throughout the three districts, there are an estimated 2,000 ballots left to count. Updated results are due to be released Thursday, and the election will be certified Feb. 19.

The Concrete School District’s proposed three-year $2.50 per $1,000 in assessed property value replacement educational programs and operations (EPO) levy is passing with 56% of the vote.

“I can’t express enough how much I appreciate the community’s support,” Superintendent Wayne Barrett said. “We’ve been through trying times. It’s nice to see that the community is willing to support the things we’re trying to accomplish.”

The district expects the levy will bring in about $1.5 million each of the three years.

EPO levies are used to fund enrichment activities such as art, music and extracurricular activities, and fills gaps for underfunded programs, such as for the costs of school nurses and special education.

With 72% approval, the La Conner School District’s four-year, $1.45 per $1,000 in assessed property value replacement EPO levy is also passing.

The district expects the levy will bring in about $965,000 in its first year, about $994,000 in its second, and about $1 million in its third and fourth years.

“Great support,” said interim Superintendent Rich Stewart, who is working on a one-year contract. “The new superintendent won’t have to worry about running a levy.”

In Mount Vernon, early results do not show the same levels of support.

The district asked voters to approve two replacement levies: one a three-year replacement EPO levy expected to bring in about $45 million over its three years, and the other a three-year $15.5 million replacement technology and security levy.

Both are currently failing with each getting 49% of the vote. However, the EPO levy is failing by 78 votes and the technology and security levy by 57.

“We’re hopeful,” Superintendent Ismael Vivanco said. “We know it’s been a tough time for everybody. We’re hoping that we’ll have different results tomorrow.”

If either or both of the Mount Vernon district’s levies fail to pass, the district will likely take the levy proposals back to voters in April or August, Vivanco said.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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