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Chemeketa Community College bond likely to pass

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Chemeketa Community College’s $92 million construction bond appears to have passed, according to the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem. The bond appears to have enough voters both backing the measure and casting ballots in the college’s district.

"We’re very confident that we can think of this as a victorious campaign," said Chemeketa president Cheryl Roberts.

Voters approved the bond Tuesday by a comfortable margin, according to unofficial election results.

In November, Portland Community College will seek passage of a bond measure to provide more services for students, increase training and recertification for the area’s workforce, and improve classroom technology.

About 60 percent of registered voters within Chemeketa’s four-county district — all of Marion and Polk counties, most of Yamhill County and a part of Linn County —voted in the primary election, according to reporter Eunice Kim of the Statesman Journal. Under Oregon’s double-majority law, at least 50 percent had to turn out for the property-tax increase to pass in the nongeneral election.

Sharon Ricks, Marion County elections supervisor, said the county clerk’s office may know early next week if Chemeketa had met that state requirement. Ballots must still be collected from other counties, and voter registration must be updated to account for voters who moved in and out of Chemeketa’s district.

"We’re waiting until everything is processed before we give out any official results," Ricks said.

Given the margin of approval and voter turnout as of Wednesday, though, Chemeketa officials are proceeding with plans to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones with the bond. New facilities will include a health sciences center, an industrial technology building and a classroom building at the Salem campus; an emergency services training building in Brooks; and classrooms in McMinnville.

Chemeketa’s capital projects committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss a timeline for construction. Build out is expected to take seven to eight years, said Craig Smith, Chemeketa’s vice president and chief financial officer.

"We’re going to be fleet-footed in how we move forward," Roberts said. "We’re not going to delay. These buildings are needed."

The bond was designed to pay for nearly all of the same projects that would have been funded by Chemeketa’s 2006 bond that narrowly failed. The cost of the 2008 bond to taxpayers is expected to be 19 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

Chemeketa Community College’s $92 million construction bond appears to have passed, with enough voters both backing the measure and casting ballots in the college’s district.

"We’re very confident that we can think of this as a victorious campaign," said Chemeketa president Cheryl Roberts.

Voters approved the bond Tuesday by a comfortable margin, according to unofficial election results.

About 60 percent of registered voters within Chemeketa’s four-county district — all of Marion and Polk counties, most of Yamhill County and a part of Linn County — also voted in the primary election, according to results and county clerk offices. Under Oregon’s double-majority law, at least 50 percent had to turn out for the property-tax increase to pass in the nongeneral election.

Sharon Ricks, Marion County elections supervisor, said the county clerk’s office may know early next week if Chemeketa had met that state requirement. Ballots must still be collected from other counties, and voter registration must be updated to account for voters who moved in and out of Chemeketa’s district.

"We’re waiting until everything is processed before we give out any official results," Ricks said.

Given the margin of approval and voter turnout as of Wednesday, though, Chemeketa officials are proceeding with plans to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones with the bond. New facilities will include a health sciences center, an industrial technology building and a classroom building at the Salem campus; an emergency services training building in Brooks; and classrooms in McMinnville.

Chemeketa’s capital projects committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss a timeline for construction. Build out is expected to take seven to eight years, said Craig Smith, Chemeketa’s vice president and chief financial officer.

"We’re going to be fleet-footed in how we move forward," Roberts said. "We’re not going to delay. These buildings are needed."

The bond was designed to pay for nearly all of the same projects that would have been funded by Chemeketa’s 2006 bond that narrowly failed. The cost of the 2008 bond to taxpayers is expected to be 19 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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