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Yelm school bond, Tanglewilde parks levy passing in early returns

The snow (then rain, then slush) didn’t stop Tuesday’s special election.

Yelm Community Schools’ $98.9 million bond was passing in early returns with 63 percent approval. The money would pay for security improvements throughout the district and to replace Yelm Middle School and Southworth Elementary School.

Bond measures for building projects in the Yelm district failed in 2015, 2016 and 2018. A 60-percent supermajority is needed to approve a bond.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” Teri Pablo, the district’s communications director, said about Tuesday’s results.

After last year’s bond effort failed, the district made changes to which projects the bond would fund, adding more security measures at all schools. It also formed a community advisory committee to study its facilities.

Pablo said that, along with a campaign centered around its building needs, may have made the difference.

The only other measure on the ballot in Thurston County was the Tanglewilde Parks & Recreation District No. 1’s property tax levy, which was passing with 53 percent in early results released Tuesday. In that case, a simple majority is needed to pass the levy.

The district had asked voters to renew a six-year levy not to exceed 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to maintain and operate the neighborhood’s two parks and outdoor swimming pool.

Turnout in Thurston County was 29 percent as of Tuesday’s ballot count. Just 5,199 votes out of the 17,988 registered voters in those two jurisdictions had arrived at the county.

The next ballot count was scheduled to be released at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Results will be certified on Feb. 22.

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