$46 million Lynden bond failing despite majority approval


LYNDEN - A majority of Lynden School District voters said yes to a $46 million bond to rebuild an elementary school and the middle school, but the district hasn't met the required 60 percent approval needed to pass the bond.

Nearly 58 percent of voters were in favor of the bond, according to preliminary ballot counts Tuesday night, Feb. 11. More ballots will be counted Wednesday.

Superintendent Jim Frey said he'd keep an eye on the next ballot count, but he didn't think it would make it to 60 percent approval. He recognized that a majority of voters supported the bond, just not enough.

Of the votes that had been counted Tuesday, 3,074 were in favor of the bond and 2,258 were against it.

"We realize with the small number of ballots left to count, getting to 60 is a long shot," Frey said. "Obviously, it's a disappointment."

The bond money - along with $16 million in state matching funds - would have paid to rebuild Fisher Elementary School at its current location and rebuild Lynden Middle School on district property on Line Road.

The 20-year bond would have increased property taxes for a home assessed at $250,000 by about $440 per year. Lynden School District retired its last capital bonds in 2010, so residents currently pay no taxes for school bonds.

It's yet undecided what the district will do next, and Frey said that's something the school board will work on.

The next ballot count should be released at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com. Read her School Days blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/schools or follow her on Twitter at @bhamschools.

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