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Xenia voters reject school bond issue for 3rd time

UPDATE @ 9:50 p.m.

Xenia voters for a third time have rejected a proposed tax that would have funded a new school building to house both middle and high school students. 

With all precincts reporting by 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, 43 percent of voters were in favor of the 4.2-mill, 37-year measure and 57 percent of voters were against it, according to the final, unofficial results from the Greene County Board of Elections. 

School Board President Pam Callahan said this was the last try to get a local bond issue passed in order to receive 40 percent of the project funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. 

"We had a certain amount of time to secure the local share so the state could guarantee a percentage of the project. We're officially out of the running for the money," Callahan said. "We can go back and alter the plan, and they may or may not approve it. Even if they do, there's no guarantee we'll get the money." 

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If the bond issue had passed, the state facilities commission would have provided $28.5 million, or 40 percent of the total cost of the project to build a new school to replace Warner Middle and Xenia High schools at Ohio 42 and Ledbetter Road. 

Interim Superintendent Christy Fielding issued a statement expressing disappointment that more voters in favor of the bond issue did not turn out at the polls. 

"It is a sad day for our students and community," Fielding's statement read. "We tried to get voters to the polls. That just didn't happen today. We want to thank everyone who did get out to the polls and vote 'yes.' Great things are happening for Xenia Schools, and we will continue our efforts to best serve the children and families of the Xenia community."

UPDATE @ 9:10 p.m.

With a little over 4,500 votes counted, 41 percent of Xenia voters are for the school bond issue and 59 percent are against it.

UPDATE @ 8:45 p.m.

With a little over 3,000 votes counted, or 50 percent of the precincts reporting, Xenia voters are 36 percent for the bond issue and 64 percent are against it.

EARLIER

Voters in Xenia decide today whether to approve a new tax to fund the construction of one building to house both the middle and high schools.

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Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Xenia City Schools has the only issue on the ballot in this special election, a 4.2-mill, 37-year tax that voters previously rejected in May. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $147 per year.

RELATED >>> School leaders hope 3 time is charm for construction issue

Click on this story periodically through the night for updated election results.

Llyn McCoy, director of the Greene County Board of Elections, said the first results from today’s election, which are absentee and early voters’ ballots, are expected to be published online early. McCoy said based on previous special elections, the hope is to have the unofficial, final count by 10 p.m.

RELATED >>> Xenia Schools bond issue rejected again

The measure, if approved, would fund the construction of a new building at Ohio 42 and Ledbetter Road to replace two aging schools — Warner Middle School and Xenia High School.

If voters approve the tax, the Xenia school district is slated to get 40 percent of the project costs covered by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. 

But if voters reject the proposal for a third time, the OFCC funding cycle resets and Xenia schools will go to the “bottom of the list,” said Xenia School Board President Pam Callahan. 

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