Mount Vernon voters reject $15.9M bond for school district

High turnout as 63 percent vote no

Cracks in one of the tennis courts at the activities complex adjacent to the Mount Vernon middle school are shown in Mount Vernon on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. The bond, if passed, would have funded facility construction and improvements for the district’s three schools.

 (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Cracks in one of the tennis courts at the activities complex adjacent to the Mount Vernon middle school are shown in Mount Vernon on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. The bond, if passed, would have funded facility construction and improvements for the district’s three schools. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

MOUNT VERNON — Voters in the Mount Vernon School District roundly rejected a $15.9 million bond Tuesday that would have funded facility construction and improvements in the district’s three schools.

More than 63 percent of voters voted no on the bond question, according to unofficial results released around 8:30 p.m. by the Linn County Auditor’s Office.

The bond question needed a supermajority of 60 percent in favor to pass.

Polls were busier than expected Tuesday as nearly 38 percent of Mount Vernon’s registered voters cast ballots. Around 11 a.m., an elections systems administrator told The Gazette that officials expected turnout to land between 20 and 25 percent.

Including about 400 absentee ballots, 1,918 people voted in the special election. The Mount Vernon school district has about 5,100 registered voters.

The $15.9 million bond would have paid for a new performing arts complex at the high school, a new athletics complex and the addition and renovation of classrooms at the district’s three schools.

It also would have sent property taxes to about $20.47 per $1,000 assessed valuation — one of the highest rates in the state.

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