Revised Winfield school bond question passes; Voter turnout just 13 percent


Updated: Wednesday, 10:04 a.m.

Winfield school district voters signed off on a $15 million school bond for USD 465 that will improve maintenance and infrastructure — especially for elementary schools.

Yes votes beat out no’s 676 to 460, according to unofficial results from the Cowley County Clerk’s office following Tuesday’s election.

Canvass of provisional ballots will be June 12 at 9 a.m. in the Cowley County Clerk’s Office in Winfield.

The clerk’s office says turnout was just 13 percent of approximately 8,500 registered voters for the Winfield school district.

Last week, Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison hoped for a turnout of at least 50 percent.

From Thursday:

Voting is underway for a special school bond election in Winfield.

The bond, if approved by voters, would issue general obligations bonds up to $15 million for various infrastructure and maintenance improvements across USD 465.

Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison told Cowley Post Thursday roughly 150 people have voted early since advanced voting began Tuesday and that 120 mail-in ballots have been returned.

“There are 8,500 registered voters for the school district,” Madison said. “I’m hoping for a turnout of at least 50 percent.”

According to the school district, this would include a new controlled entry, office remodel and relocation, and a classroom addition for Irving Elementary; additional new controlled entries for Country View, Whittier and Lowell Elementary schools, along with Winfield Early Center; a new office remodel and relocation of the nurse and conference room for Lowell; HVAC improvements for Irving, Country View, Lowell and Whittier; and any other related improvements across the district.

Last November, two larger bond questions that involved consolidation of elementary schools, repairs and a new football stadium, were handily rejected by Winfield voters, with “no” garnering over 70 percent each.

In that election, just over 4,500 registered voters in the district turned out.

USD 465’s website for Tuesday’s bond question says if passed, the projects would begin construction with four to six months.

The district says the bond would be tax neutral.

“Tax-neutral means the district would not need to raise the mill levy to generate additional tax revenue to support the proposed bond projects,” USD 465 stated. “Current tax rates would stay the same. Tax rates might increase based on property valuations, but not because of the bond.”