Asotin County passes sales tax bump for jail; Clarkston City Councilors hold seats

Asotin County voters have endorsed a sales tax increase to fund a new county jail.

Election results so far show the measure passing with more than 68 percent approval.

The 0.3 percent bump in the county’s sales tax is expected to bring in about $910,000 annually to help build and run a new jail. The county will have $13.7 million earmarked for construction. Several locations have been discussed, but a site has not yet been chosen.

As of Tuesday, voter turnout was at 31 percent, though more ballots will be counted Thursday.

Both incumbents on the Clarkston City Council have won re-election.

Mayor Monika Lawrence and Councilor Belinda Larsen easily won the only two contested races on the ballot. Lawrence defeated challenger Richard Hayward, 60 percent to 40 percent, while Larsen got 68 percent of the vote over challenger Nick Kampf’s 32 percent.

The Clarkston emergency medical services levy passed by a margin of 71 percent to 29 percent. The cost of the annual property tax levy will increase by 9 cents next year to $1.57 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The city expects to collect over $685,000 to cover one quarter of the EMS budget and allow ambulance service to continue.

The City of Asotin saw Dwayne Paris take 79 percent of the vote to win the mayor’s seat over Jeff Miner’s 21 percent.  Steve Cowdrey is returning to the city council after a 12-year hiatus, winning 60 percent to 40 percent over Eric Heier.  (LMT)

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