Area local elections: Chamberlain events center bond issue failsHanson County wheel tax rejected, Miner County voters withdraw from JRWDD.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
CHAMBERLAIN — Voters rejected a bond issue Tuesday to help fund a new events and fine arts center in the Chamberlain School District.
The district needed 60 percent plus one to pass the bond issue. There were 1,354 votes, or 54.42 percent, cast in favor of the $5.28 million bond. “No” votes totaled 1,134, or 45.58 percent.
“It’s very disappointing that we didn’t get the 60 percent plus one, but we feel we gave it our best effort,” said Debbie Johnson, Chamberlain School District superintendent. “We don’t know what we could have done different at this point. But we let the people help decide, they voted and they let us know that right now our community is not ready to build an events/fine arts center.”
The center would have cost $13.18 million for 53,000 square feet, including an auditorium, a gymnasium, walking track, weight room and full handicap accessibility.
The project would have been funded through the school district, the $5.28 million bond, a Barger Foundation Grant and private contributions. The Chamberlain School District includes portions of Brule, Buffalo and Lyman counties.
Hanson County wheel tax fails
Voters in Hanson County defeated a proposed wheel tax Tuesday to help pay for road maintenance and improvements. The vote was 1,829 opposed, or 77.5 percent, and 531 in favor, or 22.5 percent.
The Hanson County Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance in April to impose the wheel tax, but after opposition arose, the commission placed the issue on the ballot to let the voters decide, said Lesa Trabing, county auditor.
The tax would have garnered the county $2 per wheel, not to exceed $8 per vehicle, and it applies to all vehicles, including trailers. It would have brought in about $75,000 per year.
Miner County leaving JRWDD
Residents in the west half of Miner County voted Tuesday to withdraw from the James River Water Development District. The vote was 127 in favor of the withdrawal, or 56.19 percent, and 99 opposed, or 43.81 percent.
Approximately five years ago, the west half of Miner County was annexed into the James River Water Development District.
Auditor Susan Connor said residents from the eight townships in the district brought a concern to the Miner County Commission that they were paying taxes to the JRWDD but weren’t getting any projects approved.
“They were asking the commission to pass a resolution to petition the state water board to allow them to be removed from the water district,” Connor said.
The commission passed the resolution and the state Board of Water and Natural Resources approved the question to be on the ballot.
Area races, issues
* Brule County voters re-elected Republican David Natvig as state’s attorney. He received 1,225 votes, or 52.87 percent. Independent Theresa Maule received 1,092 votes, or 47.13 percent.
* Buffalo County residents elected independent Dedrich Koch as state’s attorney with 372 votes, or 63.92 percent. Incumbent and Republican Steve Fox lost with 210 votes, or 36.08 percent.
* Charles Mix County elected Republican Thomas Deadrick as state’s attorney with 1,965 votes, or 53.09 percent. Deadrick beat incumbent Democrat Pamela Hein, who received 1,736 votes, or 46.91 percent.
* Lyman County re-elected independent Anita Fuoss as state’s attorney. She received 720 votes, or 51.28 percent. Her opponent, Paul Jensen, received 684 votes, or 48.72 percent.
Lyman County also elected two county commissioners to at-large positions. Republican Leroy Choal was re-elected with 764 votes, or 28.65 percent. Republican newcomer Adam Ehlers was elected with 659 votes, or 24.71 percent. David Reis received 638 votes, or 23.92 percent, and failed to win a seat. Eugene Mertens was voted out of office with 606 votes, or 22.72 percent.
* Jones County voters elected Debra J. Byrd as the new county treasurer. Byrd is the deputy treasurer and received 350 votes, or 56.73 percent. Opponent Beth Feddersen received 267 votes, or 43.27 percent.
* Sanborn County elected Democrat Paul Larson as county commissioner for District 2 with 165 votes, or 63.22 percent. Republican incumbent Keith Senska lost with 96 votes, or 36.78 percent.
* Tripp County elected Republican Curt Littau to replace Democrat Greg English as District 4 county commissioner. Littau received 344 votes, or 60.67 percent. English received 223 votes, or 39.33 percent.
* Gregory County chose a soil conservation district director in Kay Don Jons, who received 1,366 votes, or 70.67 percent. His opponent, Dean Kerner, received 567 votes, or 29.33 percent.
* With 21 of 22 precincts reporting, Gary Boomsma won the James River Water Development District Director Area 4 seat. He had 3,922 votes, or 73.01 percent. Leon Fredrichs received 1,450 votes, or 26.99 percent.
* With 45 of 48 precincts reporting, Gary Duffy was leading the East Dakota Water Development director Area 2 race with 5,781 votes, or 66.34 percent. John Weidler had 2,933 votes, or 33.66 percent.