A levy to replace and upgrade King County’s emergency radio network was being approved by voters in a special election Tuesday.
King County voters Tuesday approved a $246 million levy to upgrade and expand King County’s emergency-radio network used daily by police, fire, emergency-medical staff and 911 dispatchers from jurisdictions across the county.
In Tuesday’s vote count, 65 percent were supporting the property-tax levy known as Proposition 1.
County officials have said the network, originally built in 1997, doesn’t reach all areas of the county and the current signal is sometimes blocked by high-rise buildings within cities. That’s made it hard for first responders to talk with each other at incidents or relay information to dispatchers, levy backers said.
The network contractor, Motorola, has also said it won’t support the current system after 2018.
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The nine-year levy, which required a simple majority to pass, will cost $0.07 per $1,000 of assessed valuation beginning in 2016.
That was the only countywide measure in King County in the vote-by-mail special election. Here are results, as of Tuesday night, for other ballot measures:
• Two measures were on the ballot affecting Sammamish.
The first, asking residents in unincorporated Klahanie whether they want to be annexed by Sammamish the city, appeared a done deal, with 87 percent supporting the move. Klahanie, a development of about 11,000 residents, is on Sammamish’s southeast corner. Residents in February 2014 voted not to join Issaquah.
Sammamish voters were approving a measure to give residents the power of initiative and referendum over city ordinances. In Tuesday’s count, 55 percent were saying yes. The vote is a nonbinding advisory to the City Council.
• A Covington Transportation District measure for an additional retail-sales tax of $. 002 to fund road maintenance and improvement projects was failing, with 53 percent saying no. The 10-year tax requires a simple majority to enact.
• A $68.6 million Enumclaw School District bond measure to renovate Enumclaw High School and build a new Black Diamond Elementary School, is in doubt, despite capturing 59 percent of Tuesday’s count. To pass, the bond measure, which replaces an expiring one, requires 60 percent approval with a minimum turnout of nearly 12,600 voters.
• Passage of a bond for the South King fire district was also in doubt. The $53.7 million bond measure to build a new station and upgrade or acquire firefighting and safety equipment got 57 percent approval Tuesday, but the measure needs a 60 percent yes vote.
The fire district includes Federal Way, Des Moines and parts of unincorporated King County.
• A four-year levy renewal for parks funding, of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, by the Vashon-Maury Island Park and Recreation District got nearly 60 percent of Tuesday’s vote. The results in the coming days will be closely watched as the measure needs 60 percent to pass.