The Spokesman-Review

Special election ballots due today

Balloting in six school districts and Fire Protection District No. 4 in Spokane County closes today in a special election.

The Cheney School District is asking voters for $79 million to replace Cheney Middle School on the same site and build a new middle school next to Windsor Elementary.

In addition, the proposal calls for a new 400-student elementary school on the West Plains. The location has not been chosen yet.

Medical Lake School District wants to expand and modernize Medical Lake Middle School and Hallett Elementary School in a $15.65 million bond measure.

If approved, the district would tear down the aging Medical Lake Elementary School and build athletic fields at the site. Attendance patterns would be reorganized to match the facilities.

Fire District No. 4 is asking voters to lift a voter-mandated limit on property tax collections to help the district meet increasing calls for service.

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

The district wants to raise the regular property tax levy to its constitutional maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The rate currently has fallen to 86 cents per $1,000 because of a levy lid that holds increased collections to 1 percent a year.

The district has seen a 47 percent increase in the number of calls for service from 2002 through 2008

Also on the ballot are maintenance and operation levies for Tekoa, Rosalia, St. John and Great Northern school districts.

Voter service centers are open until 8 p.m. at the county elections office, 1033 W. Gardner Ave., and at the library in Cheney.

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