WARRENTON - Low voter turnout again doomed a $10 million bond measure that would have helped pay for Warrenton's new wastewater treatment plant.
But city leaders may decide that third time is a charm.
Those who cast ballots Tuesday favored the measure 599 to 384. But by state law, the measure may be passed only at an election with a 50-percent voter turnout.
Tuesday only 983 of Warrenton's 2,634 registered voters - 45.5 percent - participated.
The same thing happened last year, when "yes" votes predominated but not enough Warrenton voters cast ballots, thus failing to meet the state's double majority requirement for money measures.
That measure's defeat means Warrenton sewer customers will have to pick up the tab for the $13-million project through a 25 percent to 40 percent increase in utility rates. The current residential sewer rate is a minimum of $37.56 per month. That will go up to $46.49 per month with a 25 percent increase or to $52.58 per month with a 40 percent increase.
But Warrenton residents may still have another chance to pass the bond measure.
"I think we'll try again," said Mark Kujala, vice chairman of the City Commission. He said he expects the Commission to consider placing the measure on the ballot again in the Nov. 7 general election, when the double majority requirement won't be required.
"We have, obviously, a good percentage of people who do support it, so it makes sense to put it on the November ballot," Kujala said.