Just over 1,000 voters within the Grove Public School system went to the polls on Tuesday, March 6, to determine the fate of an $800,000 transportation bond.

When all of the votes were tabulated, 611 voted for the bond, while 394 voted against the measure.

With a total of 1,005 votes cast, 60.8 percent of voters approved the measure which will add up to eight buses and several suburbans/cars to the district's fleet of vehicles.

School bond measures must pass by 60 percent of the vote. 

"The wheels on the bus will continue to go round and round," laughed Grove Superintendent Sandy Coaly, as she reacted to the narrow win. "It was close, but I'm so glad it passed."

Coaly, who plans to retire in June, said she was glad voters decided to approve the bond issue. This is the second time in as many years district officials have placed the issue before voters.

In 2017, 425 voters or 54.35 percent voted in favor of the measure, while 357 or 45.65 percent voted against it.

Just over 10 percent of the district's registered voters - more than 11,000 - took part in the special election.

This is the second transportation bond approved by voters since 2013.

Before the election, Coaly said this bond was needed because without new buses, district officials might be forced to stop running in town routes, in order to focus on rural routes.

"This makes me so happy, because I can leave the district in better shape," Coaly said. "This is good for the district, because so much [of the budget] is spent on bus repairs.

"This will help us save money, and make transportation safe and reliable for the students."

School officials estimate the property tax increase will be approximately $1.04 per $100 assessed evaluation. 

This means for a person with a $1,000 property tax assessment, the cost would be an additional $10.37 per year.

Past bonds

In 2013, voters approved a $490,000 transportation bond to purchase five buses.

The measure passed with 436 voters voting for the proposition and 216 against. Six percent or 652 of the 10,989 eligible registered voters in the Grove School District cast their ballots.

Bond elections require a 60 percent margin in order to pass. The proposition passed by 66.9 percent.

In 2015, district voters approved a $15.7 million bond to build the new Performing Arts Center on the Grove High School campus and make improvements to the district's technology including a new phone system.

That measure passed by a vote of 79.20 percent or 1,394 votes for, to 20.80 percent or 366 votes against.

In the end, 1,760 votes were cast by the 10,0000 plus voters living within the school district.