County voters OK sales tax extension
Voters on Tuesday approved a proposal to extend Leavenworth County's one-cent sales tax for another 10 years.
Proceeds from the tax will be spent on, among other projects, constructing a road from U.S. Highway 24-40 to the Kansas Turnpike, where the turnpike authority plans to construct a new interchange.
In other election news, Tonganoxie voters returned incumbent Steve Gumm to the city council for a second four-year term. Joining Gumm in filling the three open seats on the council will be Jim Truesdell and Jason Ward. Council members Kathy Graveman and Emmett Wetta did not seek re-election
In the Tonganoxie school board lone race, incumbent Bob DeHoff beat out challenger Brian Huseman. The other two incumbent school board members whose seats were up for election -- Kay Smith and Darlyn Hansen -- were unopposed in Tuesday's balloting.
County commissioners on Friday will verify final, official election results, and the vote totals may change at that time.
The extension of the sales tax, which voters approved 8,662 to 4,604, would pick up when the existing tax expires at the end of 2006. The existing tax financed construction of the Justice Center in Leavenworth, along with projects throughout the cities in Leavenworth County.
Leavenworth County commissioners have agreed to use the county's portion of the new tax revenues, which are estimated at $2.79 million annually:
- Construct roads to a proposed interchange on the Kansas Turnpike. Leavenworth County currently has no interchanges on the turnpike. The interchange itself would be financed by the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
¢ Improve the road and bridges along Leavenworth County Road 5.
¢ Improve Leavenworth County Road 8, which is Fairmount Road, between Kansas Highway 7 and County Road 5.
¢ Finance improvements in the communication system for local emergency responders.
¢ Additional road improvement projects.
Tonganoxie City Council members have said they want to use their share of the tax revenue -- estimated at $230,500 annually -- to finance capital improvements, equipment and public facilities.
In the city council race, these were the vote totals:
- Ward: 384.
¢ Truesdell: 340.
¢ Gumm: 311.
¢ Cecil Vinyard: 175.
¢ Bob Nickle: 131.
DeHoff bested Huseman by an 847 to 613 vote.
Leavenworth County voters followed voters throughout the state in their overwhelming approval of an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriages.