HARRISBURG — A request to add 50 cents to the Harrisburg School District's current bond tax rate to make repairs and additions to the district's schools appeared to be passing Tuesday.
Voters in Linn County were approving the bond measure request by a vote of 617 to 382 in early returns for the primary election. In Benton County, just seven people voted on the measure: three for, four against.
If returns hold, the new tax rate will become $1.59 per $1,000 of assessed value. A home with an assessed value of $200,000 would see an increase of about $99 per year.
The measure is expected to bring in $8.9 million in itself, but the Oregon Department of Education has agreed to a guaranteed $2.2 million in state matching funds, with up to $1.8 million more possible depending on whether voters pass other bond measures on Oregon ballots.
The school district plans to fix roofs and to upgrade electrical and plumbing systems and heating and ventilation systems in each building.
Depending on how much is received, bond money also will pay for classroom additions, safety upgrades and resurfacing of the high school track, which is in such poor condition it hasn't been able to host a home meet in at least five years.
Justin Thomas, who was chairman of the Eagles Political Action Committee in support of the bond, said the track work is among the things he's most looking forward to seeing because that's what he hears about most in the community
After that, he said, he's particularly excited about new classrooms. Right now, for instance, fourth-graders are studying at Harrisburg Middle School because there isn't enough room in the elementary building.
"I think I'm most excited to see, if this passes, the community pull together to make it happen," he said. "A lot of hard work for community members and I'm grateful for all the support we got along the way.”