Area election results: Hutchinson Co. votes for new courthouse
Hutchinson County voters approved building a new courthouse in Olivet in a big way Tuesday.
More than 65 percent of the 1,700 votes cast in Tuesday's special election voted yes on a single-question ballot to build a new $4.5 million courthouse in the small community in the center of Hutchinson County.
The final tally included 1,118 'yes' votes, while 582 'no' votes were tallied. The county's commissioners had two plans developed regardless of the vote, but a renovation plan of the current courthouse — which has origins back to 1881 — would have cost at least $3.5 million. The new facility will go up next door to the existing structure in Olivet.
In Winner, the city's voters have decided to keep the community's Main Street a one-way street. The 'no' votes on the matter carried the way with 347 votes, while the 'yes' votes were tallied 270. The Winner City Council had previously approved an ordinance to make Main Street a two-way route for three blocks in the city's downtown district after construction on U.S. Highway 18 takes place, as early as 2020. Tuesday's vote repeals that ordinance and leaves the street as is.
The community will also have a new mayor, as challenger and City Council member Jody Brozik defeated incumbent Frank Finney by a 348-269 margin for a two-year term. Incumbent Dave Baker retained his Ward 1 City Council seat with 107 votes, defeating Roger Root with 95 votes.
Presho voters approved the permanent vacating of one block of Birch Avenue, which will allow the Lyman School District to proceed with a building project connecting school facilities. The 'yes' vote received 119 votes, while the 'no' contingent received 56 votes. The school project will include a new lunchroom, kitchen, commons area, locker rooms and an auxiliary gym, part of a two-phase facilities plan.
Presho residents also elected Chad Penny to the city council seat in Ward 2. Penny received 41 votes to win the two-year term and Tony Urban received 20 votes.
Area municipal elections
• Bridgewater: Alicen Strombeck claimed the two-year term for Ward 1 on the city council with 57 votes. Jerry Paweltzki received 20 votes.
• Burke: There was a tie for one of two open seats on the city council. Mark Benter and Tyler Van Metre each received 22 votes in the race for Ward III. The winner will be determined later after the votes are canvassed. In the race for the two-year term in Ward II, Vickie Dobesh won with 71 votes to Dennis Hoffman's 21 votes.
• Kennebec: Rod Bowar and Hunter Schindler were winners in the town Board of Trustee elections, each claiming three-year terms. Bowar had 56 votes, while Schindler had 47 votes, edging Ben Oldenkamp's 46 votes.
• Scotland: Dennis Bietz won a two-year term in Ward 1 on the City Council. Bietz had 68 votes, while incumbent H. Victor Settje had 27 votes.
• Springfield: Michael Lee won the race for mayor with 104 votes. William Paulson received 56 votes and George Heisinger received 82 votes. Voters in Ward II selected James Garness for alderman with 44 votes. Harold "Jappy" Gosser received 38 votes.
• Spencer: Beverly Heidelberger claimed the three-year term on the town's Board of Trustees. She received 35 votes, while Donald Stuby had 16 votes.
• Wagner: Incumbent Roger Schroeder won a new two-year term as the Ward III Alderman. Schroeder received 48 votes to 39 votes for Todd Johannsen.
• Wessington Springs: Kathy Voorhees has been elected mayor, winning a two-year term. Voorhees received 181 votes, with Joe Hettinger receiving 164 votes and Paul DiCarlo finishing with 33 votes. In City Council races, Tim Azure claimed the Ward 1 seat with 79 votes, finishing ahead of Ryan Knipfer's 50 votes. In Ward 2, Mark Gran had 56 votes, edging Dave Ness (48) and Ellen Miranda (10). Both council seats are two-year terms.
Area school board elections
• Avon: Amber Seitzinger and Lenny Gramkow emerged from a closely contested Avon School Board race, claiming three-year terms. Seitzinger had 102 votes and Gramkow had 99, while Travis Tjeerdsma finished with 96.
• Colome: Four candidates were up for three school board seats in the Colome Consolidated School District. The three winners receiving three-year terms were Matthew Bolie with 236 votes, Brent Gill with 165 votes and Pamela Haukaas with 151 votes. Candidate Vince Thieman received 113 votes.
• Freeman: Corey Gall and Mark Miller were re-elected to the Freeman School Board. Gall had 295 votes, while Mark Miller tallied 243 to claim three-year terms. Challenger Collin Waltner had 209 votes.