Lolo School Bond Issue Fails by Narrow Vote [AUDIO]
The good news about the school bond issue in Lolo was a voter turnout of nearly 70 percent. The bad news was the issue failed by a narrow margin... again.
Lolo School Superintendent Michael Magone was philosophical about the bond issue result on Thursday morning, March 13, of 919 for and 948 against.
"Once again it was a very, very close vote with a great turnout," Magone said. "I'm guessing the voter turnout was in the high 60 percent, or even 70 percent range, but again, we lost by a slim margin."
The first bond issue in October of 2013 also failed in an equally close vote.
Magone said the next step for the aging school is to prioritize their needs and use what resources they have to meet them.
"We'll take a look at what the most immediate concerns are, and those are most likely to do with safety," Magone said. "We'll see what we have in the way of resources, and try to take of those needs as best we can. Now, we have to come up with a plan "B", how to come back to the community to address those needs that we're not able to do with our existing resources."
Magone said he and his staff went all out to inform voters in the Lolo district about plans for the new school, but with a negative result.
"I think part of the problem is that are folks out there, for one reason or another, who just don't want their taxes raised for any reason," Magone said. "That's understandable and it's a challenge to get past that."
Magone said the school board has already looked into various state, federal and private funding sources to improve the facility.
"We have utilized a number of grants already, rather than the school paying for all the design and problem-solving process," he said. "We've tapped into state grants for all that, so that source is exhausted at this point, and I don't know if they will be available in the future. That being said, we are investigating other private and public sources to help with construction, but those are hard to come by. That doesn't mean we won't stop looking."
Lolo School Superintendent Michael Magone