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Cheney, Medical Lake school bonds passing

With more than half of the ballots left to count, early results from today’s special election show voter support for schools and fire protection in Spokane County.

A $79 million bond measure in the Cheney School District that would pay for two new middle schools and a 400-student elementary school on the West Plans was passing 3,994 votes to 2,171.

If approved, Cheney school officials anticipate receiving $18 million from the state to supplement the 20-year bond measure, which would cost property owners an estimated $4.96 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Medical Lake voters were approving a $15.65 million measure to expand and modernize Medical Lake Middle School and Hallett Elementary School. Results showed 1,368 in favor and 831 opposed. The measure would cost property owners an estimated $2.47 per $1,000 of assessed value, but would be offset by the expiration of the high school bond, for a net increase of 72 cents.

The results showed that so far both district measures received the 60 percent supermajority required for school construction bonds.

Also passing 4,339 to 3,820 was a measure to lift a voter-mandated limit on property tax collections to help the Spokane County Fire District No. 4 meet a 47 percent increase in calls for service since 2002.

The higher levy would pay for ongoing operations and allow the district to begin 24-hour staffing at Station No. 42 in Chattaroy, recently expanded to provide for sleeping quarters.

The measure raises the regular property tax levy to its constitutional maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Also passing were maintenance and operation levies for Tekoa, Rosalia and St. John school districts, which include portions of Whitman County, and the Great Northern school district in Spokane County.

St. John’s measure was passing 220 to 141; Rosalia 212 to 123; and Tekoa 179 to 56 votes. The measure for the tiny Great Northern School District was passing 201 to 45.

The next ballot count will be 5 p.m. Wednesday.