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Lyons-Mehama Water District levy on pace for approval
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Lyons-Mehama Water District levy on pace for approval

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Linn County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller and Chief Deputy Clerk Marcie Richey oversee the elections process.

The Lyons-Mehama Water District is on pace to get a $5.3 million levy approved by voters. The measure was to raise funds for capacity improvements for the district, which provides clean water for parts of Linn and Marion counties.

The levy, which is estimated to add a tax of $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to properties within the district, passed with about 54% of the vote. It is to finance bonds that will be used to pay for several projects within the district.

The projects include replacing two storage reservoirs, building a new 1.3 million-gallon tank for additional storage capacity and installing two new water mains along Highway 22. Per the ballot measure notice filed on March 16, the funds will also go toward refinancing “outstanding borrowings for related capital costs” and for site improvements, demolition, equipment and the cost of issuing these bonds.

The district says it will establish a citizen oversight committee “to ensure the proceeds are used for purposes indicated.” The bonds mature in 31 years or less and may be issued in one or more series, the ballot measure notes.

Because the water district spans parts of Marion and Linn counties along the Santiam River, both counties reported early election results.

In Marion County, early returns showed voters there solidly supported the measure, with a little under 64% in favor out of a total of 91 ballots cast. In Linn County, early returns show a much closer race, with 51.5% in support and a little more than 48.5% opposed out of a total of 334 votes.

The math so far adds up to 230 in favor with 195 opposed — 54.1% to 45.9%. 

Troy Shinn covers healthcare, natural resources and the Linn County government. He can be reached at 541-812-6114 or troy.shinn@lee.net. He can be found on Twitter at @troydshinn. 

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