Measure fails by 36 votes
BY CRAIG WENZEL
A surprisingly small number of voters turned out to defeat a tax freeze opt out during a special election in Jerauld County on Tuesday, March 20.
According to figures released from the Jerauld County Auditor’s Office, the measure failed by a 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent margin with 391 votes against and 355 votes in favor, a narrow margin of just 36 votes.
The third voting precinct, Town of Alpena and Alpena Township, overwhelmingly favored the proposal with a 92-24 edge to go ahead with the opt out, reflecting their support for a $2.4 million repair on the Alpena Road between the town and US Highway 281, four miles to the west.
If the election had passed, the Jerauld County Board of Commissioners would have authorized a tax freeze opt out of $450,000 per year over the next eight years to be used for road and bridge improvements.
Scheduled in the plan were the Alpena Road, paved county roads seven miles north and south of Wessington Springs, seven miles of the Crow Lake Road, a mile of road east of Wessington Springs from SD Highway 34 to the school corner, and two bridges on gravel county roads.
Only 50 percent of the county’s registered voters went to the polls to cast their ballots, an unusually low number in an area where voters turn out at the polls in the 70-80 percent range.
Yes – 355 47.6% No – 391 52.4% 50.8% of total registered voters voted
Precinct 1 - City of Wessington Springs
Precinct 2 - Twshps: Wess. Sprgs, Viola, Anina, Media, Dale, Chery
Precinct 3 - Town of Alpena & Alpena Township
Precinct 4 – Twshps: Franklin and Blaine and Town of Lane
Precinct 5 - Harmony, Marlar, Crow, Pleasant, Crow Lake, Logan