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Voters approve sports bonds

Staff writer

Voters decided by a nearly 2-1 margin Tuesday to approve Marion-Florence school district borrowing $3.26 million for improvements to sports facilities.

The count came in at 406 in favor and 217 against. That represents a 24.63% turnout for the special election, which had only this question on the ballot.

Election workers had the 825 ballots tabulated only an hour and 17 minutes after polls in Marion and Florence closed.

As ballots passed through counting machines, nine people gathered in the courthouse hallway. They included interim superintendent Lee Leiker; his wife, Diane Leiker; and school board member Jeremiah Lange.

Tax money used to pay bonds issued to build the district’s Performing Arts Center and Sports Aquatic Center will be paid off and the district will sell new bonds to pay for new locker rooms, a new concession stand, and new lighting at baseball and softball fields.

Plans include using the proposed facility’s summer weight room in the winter as pickleball courts in hope of creating social and recreational opportunities, especially for those 55 and older. The facility will be rented as a venue for parties, reunions, and the like.

“I’m glad the way the voter turnout clearly indicated what the people want,” Leiker said after results came in.

Next will come the process of getting bonds ready to market and actually marketing them, he said.

County clerk Tina Spencer earlier estimated the special election would cost the district $7,310.

Had the vote failed, the owner of a typical house with a market value of $100,000 would have saved $66.41 a year.

Last modified May 10, 2023

 

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