West Grand mill levy clings to nine-vote lead with more to be counted | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand mill levy clings to nine-vote lead with more to be counted

Holding a slim lead in the unofficial count, the fate of West Grand’s mill levy increase may rest with a handful of uncounted votes.

If passed, the mill levy increase would raise an additional $550,000 annually for West Grand schools. The district would spend it on capital projects, staff recruitment and retention, improving school security and enhancing school programs.

On Wednesday, preliminary voting results showed the mill levy increase passing in Tuesday’s election by just nine votes. Combining the district voters from Grand and Summit counties, 515 people favored the mill levy increase and 506 were against it.

However, roughly 90 votes in Grand County won’t be counted until Nov. 12, which is part of the process to finalize the results. It’s unclear exactly how many of those votes were cast by people in the West Grand School District, but given that the measure holds a such a slim lead, those ballots could affect the outcome.

Looking at the ballots that have been counted, they are pretty evenly split. The school district covers western Grand County and a small piece of northern Summit. Only three votes separated the question among Grand County voters and six for Summit.

In a letter to the community prior to the vote, Superintendent Liz Bauer outlined some of the reasons the district needs the funds and how they will spend the additional money.

West Grand staff salaries will see an increase to be more competitive with surrounding school districts to try and fill vacancies at the schools.

In addition, the money will fund updates to buildings, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new HVAC systems, new high school bleachers, new boilers and more.

Without the mill levy increase, Bauer said the district would likely be looking at deferred maintenance and possible staff cuts.

Additionally, West Grand School District voters living in both Summit and Grand were asked to support EMS mill levy increases, and the preliminary results show the increases for EMS passing.

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