Fairfax City voters yesterday overwhelmingly rejected a $6.2 million bond issue that would have been used to repair and expand the city's schools.
The vote was 1,758 against (62 percent) and 1,056 for (38 percent), according to Tom Welle, the city's public information officer. Slightly more than 28 percent of the city's registered voters cast ballots.
Among the projects the money would have financed were the building of gymnasiums at each of the city's three elementary schools.
Defeat of the bonds at referendum presents the City Council with the problem of coming up with $1 million, Welle said. That amount is needed to replace the leaky roof at Fairfax High School, which has already resulted in damaged books and walls, and to expand Layton Hall Elementary School. The Layton Hall expansion is needed now because another school has been closed and its students transferred there, city officials said.
Welle said the city has an extra $300,000 to $350,000 in its current budget that would have been used to pay off debt interests if the bond issue was approved. That money will probably now be used for some of the needed repair costs.
The City Council was discussing the situation in a work session last night and Welle said the probable solution would be for the council to vote to raise the property tax rate. The council is expected to vote on the matter tonight.