Blaine school bond failing to reach supermajority, while operations levy passes


These election results current as of February 15 at 9 a.m.

Voters in the Blaine school district handily approved the regular operations levy in the February special election with 58.2 percent voting in favor. The levy will start at $0.98 per $1,000 in property valuation.

The school district’s partner ballot measure, Proposition 2024-08, is likely to fail to reach the state-mandated 60 percent supermajority threshold for bonds, with only 54.8 percent voting to approve the measure. The measure, if passed, would be a $70 million capital project bond going toward renovations to existing school buildings and designs for a primary school in Birch Bay.

Fewer than 1,500 ballots are left to count across the entire county, and little is likely to change in results by the next ballot count, set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 15.

For the Blaine school district, the levy passing was “mission critical” according to superintendent Christopher Granger, as those funds make up roughly 17 percent of the district’s operations budget. The funds provide relief for the school district’s dwindling state funding due to decreased enrollment, and tapped out pandemic relief from federal and state entities.

According to the district, the levy was intended to not raise taxes for homeowners, and the district by law cannot collect more than the voter approved amount of $7.5 million in 2025, even if property values rise.

The structure of the approved levy will rise slightly year over year, starting at $0.98 per $1,000 in assessed home value, and increasing to $1.04 by 2028. For a home valued at $500,000, homeowners would pay $490 in 2025.

The proposed $70 million capital projects bond had a higher voter hurdle to clear, and a larger price tag to sell, and will likely fall short of the needed 60 percent. The bond would have asked for a flat, $0.76 per $1,000 rate through 2046, and gone toward updates to the Pipeline Fields athletic complex, improvements to Point Roberts Primary School, Blaine Middle School, and the Performing Arts Center, as well as seeking bids for preliminary designs of a Birch Bay primary school.

Granger did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In other school district news, Blaine school district superintendent Christopher Granger applied for a vacant superintendent position in the Ellensburg school district, which conducted interviews over the past several days. Granger was named by the Ellensburg school district as one of three final candidates for the position, which was ultimately given to Troy Tornow, the district’s interim superintendent since June 2023, announced by the district on February 14. A request for comment from Granger was not received by press time.


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