Southern school bond vote fails 408-277

WYMORE, NE — Voters in southern Gage County are shutting down a proposal for a new gym and other improvements to the local elementary school.

Voters in the Southern school district rejected a $2.89 million bond issue 408-277 via a mail-in vote. The Gage County Clerk’s office says the unofficial results constitute 46.73% turnout.

The 60%-40% result means the district will not build a new gym, two classrooms, exterior basketball courts or make drainage improvements to the elementary school. The additional classrooms would have allowed the district to move its preschool for three-year-olds from across the street into the elementary building.

The project would have added about 4.5 cents per $100 valuation to the district’s levy for 20 years.

At a recent public forum, opponents of the project argued that rural landowners would foot a disproportionate amount of the bill at a time when money is already tight. They also accused the administration of “fast-tracking” the vote and overlooking possible benefits from a recently passed law that takes effect January 1.