West Grand mill levy still passing by a hair after final count

The final ballot count has the West Grand School District’s mill levy passing by just nine votes.

Released Friday, the final count includes voters in Grand and a small piece of northern Summit. The numbers did not change from last week’s reporting with 515 people in favor and 506 against. Only three votes separated the question among Grand County voters and six for Summit.

While this is the final count, these election results are not official until an election canvass — or audit of the election process — is complete.

West Grand officials have declined to comment on results until they are official. Grand County Clerk Sara Rosene said the election canvass must be completed by Nov. 24, and she hopes to perform the canvass on Thursday.

While it is unlikely that the numbers will change, that is up to the final determination of the canvass board. Rosene explained that the canvass could alter results if the board sees something of concern in the county’s ballot counting.

The mill levy increase would raise an additional $550,000 for West Grand schools toward capital projects, staff recruitment and retention, improving school security and enhancing school programs. This would increase yearly taxes on a $100,000 private property by $32.35 a year.

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 would spend the money.

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

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

Without the mill levy increase, educators and administrators feared the district would be looking at deferred maintenance and possible staff cuts.

The final count released Friday did not alter the result of any other measures across the county.

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