By Conrad Dudderar
Canadian Valley Technology Center’s $75 million bond issue was narrowly defeated in Tuesday’s special election.
CV Tech sought voter support to fund construction of a “stand-alone” public safety training center and other upgrades at Canadian Valley’s El Reno Campus along with modernization and safety improvements at its Chickasha campus.
Some 102 precincts were open Sept. 12 in polling places across eight counties for CV Tech’s bond election, with votes cast in six of those counties.
There were 2,508 yes votes (49.53%) and 2,556 no votes (50.47%), according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
The measure was defeated by a less-than 1% margin, 48 votes.
“The election results last night for the CV Tech bond issue were disappointing,” CV Tech Superintendent Gayla Lutts said Wednesday morning. “I want to thank everyone who got out to vote and who supported our efforts to educate the public about the bond issue.
“Over the past several months, we experienced an overwhelmingly positive response from our faculty, families, communities and business partners who were supportive of our expansion and improvement goals,” Lutts added.
“We are proud of our growth and progress at CV Tech and remain committed to our mission of preparing our students to succeed through quality career and technical education programs and services. While the loss is certainly a setback, our eye is still on building a brighter future for us all.”
Votes totaled 5,064 combined during early voting and on election day.
The results won’t become official until after 5 p.m. Friday when they are certified by county election boards.
They also are subject to a recount.
Passage of career tech bond issues require a simple majority, unlike public school bonds that require 60% approval.
The most votes were cast in Canadian County, with 1,735 (45.19%) voting yes and 2,104 (54.81%) voting no across 60 precincts.
Canadian County is home to CV Tech’s El Reno Campus and Cowan Campus.
The bond proposal was favored by 63.9% of voters in Grady County’s 26 precincts, 671-379.
CV Tech’s other campus is in Chickasha, Grady County.
Meanwhile, the measure earned 59.48% majority in nine Oklahoma County precincts – 91-62.
Canadian Valley’s $75 million bond proposal had been endorsed by the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Grady County Sheriff’s Office, Yukon Police Department, El Reno Police Department, Union City Police Department, Bethany Police Department, and Tuttle Police Department.
NO TAX INCREASE
The failure to Tuesday’s bond vote means property taxes will remain steady.
Passage would have increased property taxes over 15 years by an estimated $30 per year ($2.50 per month) for each $100,000 of assessed value.
CV Tech’s 2014 bond issue is due to retire in fall 2024. That $12 million issue was approved by voters in April ’14.
School districts served by CV Tech stretch from El Reno east to Bethany and Piedmont south to Rush Springs, and include Mustang, Yukon and Tuttle, among others.
Having provided career training and other services for 53 years and operating three area campuses, CV Tech works hand-in-hand with local businesses to fulfill their workforce needs by providing educational career programs to roughly 2,000 students each semester. This includes nearly 1,200 high school students.