Local races and levy results are mostly in; Fire District 4 levy remains close

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Douglas County voters turned out for the Nov. 6 mid-term election at a rate of 56.66 percent, according to the Douglas County Auditor’s Office website. By the afternoon of Nov. 9, the office had counted 93 percent of ballots.

Voters gave Kevin Morris, who has been serving as sheriff by appointment since July 9, the chance to continue serving in the position for the next four years. The percentage for this vote was 65.85 percent over his opponent Leeon Leyde.

Likewise, they gave Eric Biggar, who has been serving as District Court judge by appointment since May 1, the chance to continue serving. The vote was 70.4 percent over his opponent Robert Hunter.

In the race to fill County Commissioner, Position 3, in which Steve Jenkins chose not to run for reelection, Marc Straub took 64.53 percent of the vote over his opponent Norm Tupling.

Waterville voters gave a 55.38 percent approval for an increased levy for Douglas County Cemetery District 2. The $10,000 increase in the levy will help to cover increased water rates at the Waterville Cemetery and the Waterville Catholic Cemetery.

Orondo’s Fire District 4 levy for fire and emergency services showed a narrow early lead after the initial vote count. However, the results of the second vote count showed a virtual 50-50 split between “yes” and “no” votes, with “no” votes taking the lead at 50.64 percent. Fire district commissioners, volunteers and supporters are eagerly awaiting the final vote count, and are hoping that the last remaining votes can turn the count back in favor of the “yes” votes.

The district asked for an increase of 0.385 cents per $1,000 assessed value. This was to cover the plan to construct a new fire station at the north end of the district in order to protect homes in that area, to update its equipment and establish a residency program for fire academy students, which would provide more consistent 24/7 manpower.

The next vote count was scheduled for Nov. 14.