Coyle voters approve tax levy to fund community center

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

COYLE — Voters have approved a ballot measure to fund the Toandos Peninsula’s community center through a property tax levy, reversing their rejection of the same measure in November.

“In the November election, it was the last issue on the ballot, and no one knew what it was,” said Richard Hull, a commissioner on the five-member board for the Jefferson County Parks & Recreation District 1.

“This time, we put out a lot of information and let people know what they were voting for.”

On Tuesday, the measure received 160 yes votes, or 74.77 percent, to 54 no votes, or 25.23 percent, out of 214 votes cast.

Betty Johnson of the Jefferson County auditor’s elections department said Wednesday that she expects few additional ballots to be received in the mail.

The outcome of the election is not expected to change.

The measure continues a levy of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for six years after the present levy expires at the end of this year.

It is expected to generate about $22,000 each year for the upkeep of the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center.

The site, which is also known as the Toandos Community Center, hosts many community activities.

Since this is an extension of an existing measure, it will not change the current tax bill. The owner of a $200,000 house will pay about $30 a year for the levy.

Hull said passing the measure was important to the community.

“Coyle is out in the middle of nowhere,” Hull said.

“The community center is a gathering place that draws a cross-section of the community: There is a food bank, a meeting place and lots of activities.

“And anyone in the district can use this space if they want to.”

In November, the measure failed despite a majority of voters approving it because it did not get the 60 percent supermajority needed for passage.

Voters approving it cast 157 votes, or 56.3 percent, and those rejecting it cast 122 votes, or 43.7 percent, out of a total of 279 votes cast.

If the measure had received 10 more yes votes out of those cast, it would have passed at that time.

The cost of Tuesday’s election had not been computed as of Wednesday, Johnson said.

The community center is at 923 Hazel Point Road off Coyle Road and is about 30 minutes’ driving time from Quilcene.

For more information about it, visit www.toandos.org.



Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 24. 2013 6:07PM
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