WENATCHEE — Voters throughout North Central Washington were in a supportive mood for Tuesday’s special election.
In Chelan County, voters in the Leavenworth area adopted a new technology levy for Cascade schools with 61.2 percent — well over the 50 percent needed to pass. And in Manson, a parks and recreation levy in Manson that previously failed twice before garnered 67.2 percent of the vote.
Ephrata-area voters are also pushing through a $13 million bond for major upgrades at the Columbia Basin Hospital. Tallies show a 63.4 percent approval, with 60 percent needed to pass.
And in the Methow Valley, three tax measures — a maintenance and operations levy, a technology levy and a bond issue to repair schools — were all passing.
“I’m just delighted,” said Steve McKenna, superintendent of the Cascade School District. “It just reinforces that, if you’ve got a good idea and a good plan, the Cascade communities support kids.”
The district has before approved a technology levy, but this is the first request since 1998 that Cascade School District sought more funds specifically for technology.
The two-year levy will collect $826,000 each year, at an estimated rate of 42 cents per $1,000 assessed property value.
The levy will replace and improve outdated computer systems and other instructional tools.
The Manson Parks and Recreation District also won its long-sought maintenance and operation replacement levy, which will cost an estimated 25 cents per $1,000 assessed value, to raise $150,000 to care for Manson’s parks for the next three years.
The levy failed in February with 58.5 percent of the vote, and last November with 54 percent approving. Parks officials said a failed levy would require cutting four seasonal employees and reducing mowing, watering, planting and painting. Some other things — like curtail things like cooking and fitness classes, and perhaps Manson Apple Blossom Festival events — would have been curtailed.
The Methow Valley School District passed two levies and a bond issue. All three measures will replace levies already in place, and cost property owners about the same they are currently paying - $1.80 per $1,000 assessed property value.
And in Ephrata, voters came out big-time in favor of a $13 million bond issue, which hospital officials say is necessary to keep the hospital open.
A bond request two years ago failed by 25 votes.
Columbia Basin Hospital CEO Bob Reeder said the hospital building is now 55 years old, and without extensive renovations and additions, it cannot continue to meet the needs of the community.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512