SANFORD — The municipal budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 was approved 1,070 to 621, according to unofficial results Tuesday. The budget had earlier been approved by the city council at $21.6 million, with about an additional $856,000 in county tax, $1.66 million in capital improvements and $35.1 million for the school department, for a total of about $59.2 million.

Referendum question 1, challenging how the city council dealt with an ordinance to override council actions, failed because not enough voters cast ballots. The question, certified for the June 10 ballot through a citizen petition, asked if voters wish to overturn continuance of an ordinance approved by the city council dealing with the issue. The council had approved an ordinance on the matter because they said it had inadvertently been omitted from the city charter.

Some residents said the ordinance took away their voice and felt there should be no time restriction to overturn a council action. They formed a committee and gathered enough signatures to bring the matter to referendum.

In order for the citizen-initiated referendum to pass, according to city charter, a majority of affirmative votes is required ”“ which the measure received, 917-598. But the charter also requires a voter turnout of 25 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election, which is 1,892. In all, 1,515 voters cast ballots on the referendum, and 230 ballots were left blank, missing that threshold.

The bond question asked voters to approve $1.66 million in bonds, $1.5 million of which is principal, for a variety of projects in the city’s schools, including a roofing, new windows, heating and ventilation, electrical systems and lighting. The bond will be paid over 10 years, at an interest rate of approximately 1.82 percent. Voters agreed 963-607, with 175 ballots left blank.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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