Unofficial results from Soldotna’s special election are in and the ordinance that would have allowed the city to borrow $10 million for construction of the Soldotna field house appears to have failed by 21 votes, 289 to 268.
Results may change after absentee and question ballots have been tallied.
The election asked voters if the city should issue a $10 million dollar bond to fund the construction of the field house. The bond would be paid off with a temporary .5 percent increase in sales taxes.
Early exit polling for the special election reflected how close of a call the unofficial results are. Out of 50 people surveyed, 15 said they voted yes, 13 said they voted no and 23 did not wish to disclose their vote.
People had many different reasons for voting the way they did. Most of those who voted yes said that they thought the field house would benefit the youth in the community. Others said that the elderly residents needed a warm place to exercise with their families in the winter.
Of those who voted against it, some did not feel that the city could realistically afford to maintain the facility. Others said they had a problem with the decision being based on a special election, rather than waiting to put it on a regular ballot. One person said that a better idea would be to only implement the sales tax during summer months, when tourism is up.
Economics impacts of the field house swayed voters both for and against the bond.
Assuming the unofficial results hold, the fate of the Soldotna field house project remains unclear at this time.