Soldotna’s field house bond may have failed at the polls, but with over 150 votes still in question, the narrow defeat is still uncertain.
After the polls closed on Tuesday night, the ordinance failed by 21 votes, 290 to 268. The unofficial results, though, left a good portion of votes uncounted.
“We currently have 149 absentee ballots in our custody, 22 questioned ballots and there are still 18 that went out absentee,” said Soldotna City Clerk Shelly Saner. “As long as they are postmarked by (March 5) and received before (March 12), they will be canvassed with the others.”
The remaining votes will be canvassed on March 12 at 9 a.m. Saner said she hopes to have an update to the unofficial results by the end of the day on March 12. The results are not official, though, until the are certified by the city council. The election’s certification is currently on the agenda for the March 13 Soldotna City Council meeting.
The election asked voters if the city should issue a $10 million dollar bond to fund the construction of the field house. The city’s sales tax would then increase by a half percent to cover the debt.
The total cost of the approximately 42,000 square foot building is estimated at $11.8 million dollars. If the bond was approved, $10 million will be financed through debt of a general obligation bond, with the remaining covered by private funders, donations, grants or, if needed, funds previously authorized by the city council.
The city would take on a 10-year bond with an interest rate between 3 and 3.5 percent. It would be paid off in 10 years with 10 annual payments.
The half-percent sales tax increase would cover that debt, increasing the tax from 3 percent to 3.5 percent.