Election results | How Mid-Columbia school, fire measures are doing after Tuesday’s tally

Six special election measures for school and fire districts in rural areas near the Tri-Cities were passing after Tuesday’s initial ballot count.

Early results from the Feb. 13 special election show a majority of voters were supporting the measures in Prosser, Connell, Kahlotus and Paterson.

The $27 million in local funds will help pay for teachers, sports activities for students, school safety improvements and a new fire station.

Nearly 2,700 ballots in Benton and Franklin counties were tallied in first counts released on election night. At least 300 still need to be counted.

The Prosser School District had two levies on the ballot. One will replace the district’s expiring operations and educational programs levy, and the other is a new tax to fund security and safety improvements at one of the district’s oldest buildings, Housel Middle School.

The four-year, $18 million replacement levy was passing with 55%, or 985 voters, in support. About 45%, or 819 voters, were against.

The four-year, $3 million capital levy passed with 54%, or 976 voters, in support. Roughly 46%, or 847, were against it.

About 1,800 total voters weighed in on both measures.

“On behalf of the Prosser School District and Prosser School Board, I want to thank all of the community for the strong voter turnout and the passing of both levies,” Superintendent Kim Casey told the Tri-City Herald. “The passing of these levies secures our programs both educational, supplemental and support for students, staff and our community for the next four years. This support is the first step in putting Prosser educational programs back on top.”

Voters in the North Franklin School District overwhelmingly passed a two-year, $5 million replacement levy to continue supporting educational programs and operation expenses.

About 65%, or 502 voters, were in support of the measure while 35%, or 271 voters, were against it.

Kahlotus’s school and fire measures were passing with landslide margins.

Voters there approved a two-year, $280,000 replacement operations levy for the Kahlotus School District, which serves less than 100 K-12 students. About 69%, or 53 voters, supported the measure while 31%, or 24 voters, were against it.

Franklin County Fire District 2 asked voters to fund a 15-year, $525,000 bond to replace its Kahlotus fire station with a pre-fabricated metal building at 115 N. Violet Ave.

The measure passed with 85%, or 47 voters, in support. Just eight votes, about 15%, voted no.

Bond measures require a 60% super majority and election turnout of at least 40% of the last general election to pass.

“I would just like to thank the voters for their support. It means a lot to the fire district,” said Travis Matthews, board chair for Franklin County Fire District 2.

Fire District 2 serves 275 square miles on the west bank of the lower Snake River. The force is entirely volunteer. Operations and gas are paid for with a small voter-approved tax.

The new fire station will house six fire engines and meet the district’s growing response needs.

Voters in the Paterson School District approved a seven-year, $525,000 bond measure to pay for its share of constructing the new Prosser High School.

The new high school — located outside district boundaries at 1500 Paterson Road in Prosser — opened two years ago and serves both Paterson and Prosser high school students.

Roughly 74%, or 40 voters, approved the measure, while 26%, or 14 voters, were opposed.

County auditors expected to publish new ballot counts at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Final election results will be certified Feb. 23.