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Lee Co. bond referendum update

File photo.

It's back to the drawing board for two southeast Iowa school districts.

To bring you up to speed, Lee County voters flocked to the polls earlier this month.

One of the issues on the ballot--a $9.8-million project to renovate Central Lee High School and Middle School.

A 60 percent majority vote was needed to pass the bond but the district fell short at just over 56 percent approval.

The district's superintendent says this is not the end.

Andy Crozier serves as Superintendent of Central Lee School District.

He's also a Central Lee alumnus and is asking for the community's thoughts on the failed bond referendum.

"We're trying to get feedback from our community. Was it the property tax reason? Was it because certain areas of the project? Was it that they didn't have enough information," asked Crozier.

The district was 42 votes away from passing a $9.8-million bond to renovate the high school's gym--along with other classroom and parking improvements.

Even though most were in favor of the bond, Iowa is a supermajority state.

"We're close. I don't know if we're going to make huge changes but we definitely want to listen to the feedback," Crozier stated.

Crozier says to expect to see the bond on the ballot again in the future.

"We owe it to our kids to continue to move forward and try to make this happen," Crozier said.

Now Crozier says there's a six month waiting period in between bond referendum votes. December is the earliest the bond could be on the ballot but he's in no rush.

Meanwhile in Fort Madison, the school board is asking for a recount.

The recount comes after the county received several absentee ballots after the election.

Yet, they were postmarked on or before April 2.

Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise told KHQA the school board has filed a petition to include the 10 absentee ballots in the results.

“We have to use the same machines that we did on election day. It's not going to change anything. Our machines functioned very well that day," said Fraise.

All 10 were in favor of the bond.

Fraise says the recount will happen Tuesday.

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