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Keokuk school bond issue fails to pass

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KEOKUK (WGEM) -- The majority of Keokuk voters said no Tuesday to a request from the Keokuk School District to take out a $19.9 million bond for district improvements.

According to Lee County auditor Denise Fraise's office, 62 percent voted no and 38 percent voted yes on the ballot measure.

School officials had wanted to use the money for a new high school music addition, a secure entrance at the high school, a new 3rd-5th grade building, Calvert Stadium improvements, and a lunchroom addition to Hawthorne Elementary.

School officials had said after five years, taxes were anticipated to increase around $1 per $1,000 of taxable value.

Officials said while they are disappointed in the results, they're not giving up.

"We do want to thank all of the people who have worked on this since 2015, and of all those who voted tonight, both yes and no," board member Russ Derr said. "We have been listening to them as we talk to people and through our community forums and we know we have some improvements to make."

He said they're already aware of some improvements that can be made to the proposal.

"One of the things that we heard from all of the voters was that we need a site for the elementary school and they would like to see a design for it also," Derr said. "They also talked about the overall cost of the project. We can take a look at that also."

He said the district has quite a bit of time before the measure goes back in front of voters again.

Iowa law states the earliest it can go on the ballot is next September.

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