It was close, but voters in the Macomb school district rejected two bond issue propositions Tuesday totaling $1.87 million. Less than 200 voters cast ballots in the election.

It was close, but voters in the Macomb school district rejected two bond issue propositions Tuesday totaling $1.87 million. Less than 200 voters cast ballots in the election.

A 60 percent supermajority is required for passage of school bond issues.

“I am extremely disappointed for our school and community in the results of our bond elections,” Superintendent Matthew Riggs said Tuesday night. ''The passage of the bonds would have provided much needed improvements in transportation as well as student safety.”

The first proposition was to build a new cafeteria and tornado safe room and provide updates to the school’s security, with total cost of that proposition being $1,620,000.

In that matter, 95 voted yes, or 53.67 percent, while 82 voted no, or 46.33 percent, so the measure failed to reached the required 60 percent for passage.

Proposition two was for three new buses. Total cost of that proposition was $250,000.

For the buses, 99 voted yes, or 55.31 percent, while 80 voted no, or 44.69 percent, so the measure failed to reached the required 60 percent for passage.

Before the election, Riggs outlined the reasons for these bond proposals.

“The current shelter is inadequate and is not big enough for all our students and faculty,” he said. “The transportation bond is important because we have buses unable to pass inspection and currently have to lease two buses for $20,000 per year.

“The results of this election do not change the needs of our district. We will continue to have the added expense of bus leases. In the event of a storm we will still do our best to protect our students with the cellars on campus,” Riggs added.

If both of these propositions had passed, there would have been a 23.8 percent increase in property taxes, which was a lower increase than a previous bond issue question that also failed.

“After the last bond did not receive the 60 percent majority required to pass, we tried to address the negative feedback. The most prominent factors were the everyday use of the building and the tax impact,” Riggs said. “People were concerned classrooms wouldn’t have enough space, and the 30 percent range was too much to expect people to pay.”

Riggs said they addressed both concerns with Tuesday's proposals.

“We lowered the tax impact to 23.8 percent. The millage rate with the passage of this bond would have continued to be one of the lowest in Pottawatomie County. We changed the building to a cafeteria which would provide ample open space,” he said.

After Tuesday's failed bond issues, Riggs said they will go back to the drawing board to find something the community can support that will provide students the safe environment and safe transportation they deserve.

While Riggs said he is disappointed in the election results, he is extremely proud of the district's progress and future.

“Over the last year, Macomb Public Schools has sought and been fortunate to receive multiple grants to improve our school. We have an after school program that is second to none,” he said. “Our students now have access to programs we could only dream of a couple of years ago. We are able to provide devices for each of our students to use everyday. Our staff engages in thorough and intentional professional development to provide improved instruction for our students.”

Riggs also expressed gratitude to the majority of voters who supported the efforts.

“Your support is very much appreciated by Macomb students, parents, faculty, and staff.”