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Preparing to vote

Audra Pioritti checks in at the Vinton voting precinct in the Benton County Courthouse on Tuesday. Election worker Roxie Higgins, Larry Kettler and Diana Whitson assist her in the process.

VINTON — With a simple majority the voters in the Vinton Shellsburg Community School district approved a measure to extend the district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL).

The Benton County Auditor’s office released the unofficial results of 383 yes votes to 108 no votes. Residents in the Garrison, Shellsburg and Vinton district cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Results will not be final until after the next meeting of the Benton County Supervisors when the ballots are officially counted.

The school district has been able to utilize the PPEL fund for a number of decades. “The current levy is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year 2020 (June 30, 2020),” Mary Jo Hainstock, district superintendent, reminded board members earlier this fall.

Election results per city were:

Garrison: ‘yes’ 15 votes and ‘no’ 14 votes;

Shellsburg: ‘.

yes’ 69 votes and ‘no’ 14 votes;

Vinton: ‘yes’ 264 yes and ‘no’ 53 votes;

Absentee: ‘yes’ 35 and ‘no’ 27 votes.

“I appreciate the 400+ people who turned out to vote. We will be able to maintain and improve our facilities, vehicle fleet and technology because of the vote’s success,” Hainstock said after the polls closed Tuesday night.

With the positive vote, the PPEL will continue to generate $1.34 per $1,000 through the combination of property tax and income surtax.

In the past, funds from the PPEL have helped the district with the purchase of buses and other district vehicles as well as construction of buildings, roof repair, flooring and in particular this summer, some asbestos removal.

“We are very pleased as a board that the residents of our district are overwhelming supportive,” of the levy Rob Levis, school board president, stated.

The renewal of the PPEL levy will allow the district to continue the tradition of quality education and facilities in the district.

“We will continue to be very prudent and spend these monies for the benefits of the students in the district,” he added.