Snoqualmie Valley bonds make gains, but no school 'supermajority' yet

Voters sent bond measures on two different tracks in the Snoqualmie Valley’s Feb. 8 special election.

A bond for a new North Bend fire station continued to gain support through last Friday, but the Snoqualmie Valley School District's bond to build a new middle school lacked about 40 votes for approval.

Fire district vote

The joint North Bend/Fire District 38 bond measure, roughly $5 million to build a new fire hall, solidified its position.

In Fire District 38, Prop. 1 made healthy gains by Tuesday, Feb. 15, increasing the "yes" vote to 1,714. The "no" vote also increased slightly to 1,066. The approval rate is remaining fairly steady at 61.6 percent.

In the city of the North Bend, Prop 1. was at 73.1 percent approval, with 1,187 "yes" votes and 436 "no" votes.

"I'm not surprised at North Bend's reaction, not at all," Mayor Ken Hearing said. "I was hoping for a bit better from 38, but it's going to be passing, and that's the main thing.

"This is really a big deal," he added. Both the city and the district spent four years trying to find a way to share the cost and ownership of the station, Hearing said.

School bond

Snoqualmie Valley School District's $56 million Prop. 1 had made small gains, going from 59.6 on Friday to 59.74 percent approval by Monday evening. The "yes" votes increased to 5,839, but the "no" votes also increased, to 3,935. To pass, the bond requires a 60 percent "supermajority."

"In a normal election, by now you'd know," said Snoqualmie Valley Schools Superintendent Joel Aune, "but in our case it's so close that we just have to wait and see."

He's still optimistic that the "yes" votes will come in, saying, "We're a little bit over 1 percent higher than where we were last Tuesday."

District officials began looking into the possibility of a recount being required automatically over the weekend, Aune said, since the votes were so close.

However, the state does not have an automatic recount provision for ballot measures such as the school bond. To have a recount done for a ballot measure, the state requires a group of five or more registered voters to request the recount, and pay a deposit toward the cost of the recount. If the recount does not change the final result, the requesters must pay for the entire recount process, but if the result does change, the county would shoulder the cost.

On Friday, King County Elections spokeswoman Kim Van Ekstrom said that there were less than 4,000 ballots remaining to verify, countywide.

"The big counts have been posted," she said. "At this point, they will be trickling in."

Ekstrom said that some uncounted ballots have signature-verification problems. Election workers will be contacting voters to resolve those issues up until certification on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

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