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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

School levies passing in Camas, Woodland, Green Mountain – and Battle Ground

Support for Battle Ground levy surges after initial razor-thin margin Tuesday night

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 13, 2024, 9:15pm

Five levy measures across four Clark County school districts are passing, according to a second round of ballots released Wednesday afternoon.

Levies in Camas, Woodland and Green Mountain all seemed to be in the clear after Tuesday night’s initial results. Battle Ground’s capital levy, however, was up in the air, as just four ballots separated “yes” and “no” voters. A surge of “yes” votes Wednesday appears to have sealed the deal.

As of Wednesday afternoon, voter turnout in Clark County was at 32.4 percent, with 27,613 ballots counted out of 85,217 registered voters.

Battle Ground

Battle Ground Public Schools’ proposed three-year technology levy is now passing with 52.05 percent voting to approve — amounting to 9,335 “yes” votes out of 17,936 ballots counted.

Proposition 7 will fund technology upgrades and infrastructure renovations previously funded by a 2005 bond measure and federal pandemic-era relief funding. The levy will collect an estimated 44 cents per $1,000 assessed property value beginning in 2025.

After being “cautiously optimistic” Tuesday night, Superintendent Denny Waters said that Wednesday’s surge of support came as somewhat of a surprise.

“We were hopeful, but I don’t think that we thought it would go up that quickly,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

Facilities upgrades, Waters said, were particularly important, as many of Battle Ground’s school buildings date back to the 1960s or older.

“It’s a big win for our students and families. Our facilities are in desperate need of some repairs and modernization so this is going to help us a lot,” Waters said. “I’ll breathe better when it’s all said and done, when it’s validated, but I’m feeling really good about it.”

Camas

Both measures run by the Camas School District will replace existing levies set to expire at the end of this year. Wednesday’s ballot drop saw each levy gain support.

Proposition 6 — to fund educational programs and staff salaries not supported by the state — is passing with 58.56 percent voting to approve. The levy will collect an estimated $1.82 per $1,000 assessed property value for four years beginning in 2025.

Proposition 7 — a smaller levy to fund technology and building upgrades — is passing with 60.05 percent voting to approve. The levy will collect an estimated 39 cents per $1,000 assessed property value for four years beginning in 2025.

Woodland

Woodland Public Schools’ proposed educational operations levy also gained support Wednesday, now with 52.9 percent voting to approve across both Clark and Cowlitz counties.

Last year, a double levy failure forced the school district to make $3 million in cuts to staffing, extracurricular activities and other services not funded by the state. Woodland is the only major school district in Southwest Washington operating without a local levy this school year.

The levy is expected to collect $2.20 per $1,000 assessed property value over three years starting in 2025.

Green Mountain

The Green Mountain School District’s proposed replacement levy is still passing with 57.61 percent voting to approve.

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Like proposed levies in Camas and Woodland, Green Mountain’s levy will fund staff positions and extracurricular activities not fully funded by the state. It will also replace an existing levy set to expire at the end of this year. The levy will cost voters an estimated $2.25 per $1,000 assessed property value for three years starting in 2025.

Clark County Elections estimates there are just 350 ballots left to count. The next round of ballots is expected to be released at 3 p.m. Friday.

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