Monroe High School (Monroe School District)

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)

Second time’s the charm? Voters narrowly approving levy in Monroe

Elsewhere, transportation levies were passing in Lake Stevens and Stanwood.

MONROE — It appears patience may have paid off for the Monroe School District.

In Tuesday’s ballot count, voters in the district were supporting a property tax that would pay for vital school programs. That means district leaders won’t need to consider cutting extracurriculars, classroom staff and more programs not covered by state dollars.

Voters around Snohomish County were asked to consider other tax measures on Election Day, including levies to fund transportation projects in Lakewood and Stanwood, and a proposal to merge Fire District 23 and Fire District 17 in the Granite Falls area.

Here is how measures fared in Tuesday’s ballot count.

Monroe School District

A four-year programs and operations levy was passing by about 250 votes Tuesday night. Of the 10,282 ballots counted, 51.25% approved the tax. The measure needs a simple majority approval to pass.

This is the district’s second attempt to pass the tax that funds about 14% of its annual budget. It covers all athletic and extracurricular programs, as well as several classroom staff positions, parts of the special education program and other operation costs not covered by state funding.

In February, the same measure failed as residents expressed frustration about district leadership and policies. The school board waited for November to try again, in hopes of rebuilding trust.

The levy will raise almost $69 million, including about $15 million in 2023. The district estimates it will cost property owners $1.71 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2023.

Stanwood transportation levy

Stanwood voters were asked to consider an extension of a sales tax for funding street and sidewalk improvements that has been in place for 10 years. The tax, first approved by a vote of 68% in 2013, created a two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax that amounts to 2 cents on every $10 spent.

As of Tuesday night, 66.96% of Stanwood voters approved the tax’s renewal.

The renewal will keep the city’s current sales tax rate at 9.3% while funding Stanwood’s Transportation Benefit Fund for another decade.

The tax has generated about $550,000 per year since its inception, according to the city. Since the tax was instituted, Stanwood officials say the city has put about $3.6 million toward a dozen sidewalk preservation projects, several improvements to Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations and multiple upgrades to street lighting.

Lake Stevens transportation levy

Lake Stevens voters approved a sales tax hike of two-tenths of a percent by 51.75% of the ballots counted on Tuesday night. Like the Stanwood measure, the tax will add an extra 2 cents on every $10 purchase. If approved, the tax will fund a new Transportation Benefit District to maintain and improve city streets, sidewalks and pathways.

Earlier this year, a survey of 900 Lake Stevens residents showed 51% wanted the city to prioritize sidewalk improvement and expansion, especially around schools. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed preferred the idea of funding a new Transportation Benefit District via a sales tax instead of an increase in car tab fees.

City officials estimated the new tax will raise $1.5 million a year towards projects and matching grant funds.

The Robe Valley Fire Station is located at 31907 Mountain Loop Highway, about 10 miles east of Granite Falls. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Fire District 23)

The Robe Valley Fire Station is located at 31907 Mountain Loop Highway, about 10 miles east of Granite Falls. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Fire District 23)

Fire district merger

Voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot proposition to merge Fire District 23 in Robe Valley and Fire District 17 in Granite Falls, with over 88% approval among the 89 votes counted.

District 17 will take over all of District 23’s property and infrastructure. The Robe Valley station at 31907 Mountain Loop Highway will be used as a storage facility for Granite Falls Fire equipment.

Herald reporter Ellen Dennis contributed to this report.

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035; mallory.gruben@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

Riley Haun: 425-339-3192; riley.haun@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @RHaunID.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Lynnwood
Lynnwood woman sentenced for stabbing Bellingham woman while she slept

Johanna Paola Nonog, 23, was sentenced last week to nine years in prison for the July 2022 stabbing of a woman she’d recently met.

Granite Falls
Man presumed dead after fall into river near Granite Falls

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, the man fell off smooth rocks into the Stillaguamish River. Authorities searched for his body Monday.

Pilot found dead near Snoqualmie Pass after Arlington flight

Jerry Riedinger’s wife reported he never made it to his destination Sunday evening. Wreckage of his plane was found Monday afternoon.

Firefighters respond to a fire on Saturday morning in Lake Stevens. (Photo provided by Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
1 woman dead in house fire east of Lake Stevens

Firefighters responded to find a house “fully engulfed in flames” in the 600 block of Carlson Road early Saturday.

YMCA swim instructor Olivia Beatty smiles as Claire Lawson, 4, successfully swims on her own to the wall during Swim-a-palooza, a free swim lesson session, at Mill Creek Family YMCA on Saturday, May 18, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Splish splash! YMCA hosts free swim lessons around Snohomish County

The Y is building a “whole community” of water safety. On Saturday, kids got to dip their toes in the water as the first step on that journey.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

The Eternal Flame monument burns in the center of the Snohomish County Campus on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Elected officials to get 10% pay bump, or more, in Snohomish County

Sheriff Susanna Johnson will see the highest raise, because she was paid less than 10 of her own staff members.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”