Voters were generous to local schools in Tuesday’s elections, passing a $25 million bond to expand fast-growing Belgrade High School and a six-year tax levy to raise $9.9 million for Bozeman school repairs.

Tax increases for the day-to-day costs of running schools passed in every district counted by the Gallatin County elections office — Anderson, Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway, Monforton and Belgrade.

“I’m thankful we have the support from voters and our community,” Bozeman Superintendent Rob Watson said. “I think it creates an atmosphere of doing what’s best for kids. It says a lot that voters support our work and I’m very thankful.”

“I think the results are great,” said Jay Bates, Belgrade school district clerk. The Belgrade High expansion bond was passing easily, by 2,571 to 1,765 votes, or 59 to 41 percent.

Bates gave a lot of the credit to Belgrade High Principal Paul Lamb. “He talked to as many groups as he could, got the word out.”

The money will be used to remodel Belgrade High, some of which was built in the 1960s, including modernizing the culinary class kitchen, updating science labs and increasing classroom space.

Bozeman School Board Trustee Douglas Fischer said the passage of all three Bozeman levies was “very encouraging as we head into a much bigger ‘ask’ next year,” when a major bond issue to build a new high school is likely to be on Bozeman’s ballot. Fischer said Belgrade’s win was a good sign that “the region is coming to terms with growth and realizing we need to invest.”

Trustees were also elected to school boards and two rural fire districts.

Here are Tuesday’s unofficial results from the county elections office, with all but 250 votes counted:

--Bozeman School District: Only two candidates ran for two School Board seats and both were elected, incumbent Andy Willett with 6,785 votes and newcomer Tanya Reinhardt with 6,971 votes.

Elementary district voters OK’d raising property taxes by $290,000 next year to cover annual school operating costs by 7,137 to 4,023 votes, or 57 to 43 percent.

High school district voters approved a $260,000 tax increase, 8,130 to 5,062 votes, or 62 to 38 percent.

The Bozeman high school district’s building reserve levy for repairs and maintenance passed by 7,863 to 5,351 votes, or 60 to 40 percent. It replaces the previous building levy that’s expiring.

--Anderson Elementary District: Warren Bauder and Mary Burrows ran unopposed for two School Board seats and received 259 and 271 votes respectively. The district asked for a tax increase of $29,285 for annual costs of running the school, which passed by 222 to 188 votes, or 54 to 46 percent.

--Belgrade School District: Seven candidates competed for three School Board seats, and incumbents won. The top three vote-getters were Peter Morgan, 1,728 votes; Dee Batey, 1,471 votes; and Robert Marx, 1,419 votes. Trailing candidates were Matthew Colbert, 926; Anthony Heck, 1,066; Michael Maczewski, 923; and Renae Mattimoe, 1,201.

In addition to the $25 million, 20-year high school bond, voters were asked to approve a $101,374 tax increase for annual costs of running Belgrade High. It passed 2,497 to 1,827 votes or 58 to 42 percent.

--Big Sky School District: Two candidates ran for two seats and were elected — Loren Bough with 426 votes and Whitney Littman with 549 votes. The district’s request for a $830,000 tax increase over five years to pay for building repairs passed 397 to 333, or 54 to 46 percent.

--Gallatin Gateway Elementary District: Candidate Donna Shockley ran unopposed. A second vacant seat will be filled by the School Board’s appointment. A $25,389 tax increase for running the school passed 272 to 204, or by 57 to 43 percent.

--LaMotte Elementary District: Two candidates ran for two seats and were elected, Amy Allen with 133 votes and Ken Miller with 130 votes.

--Manhattan Elementary District: Four candidates competed for two seats. Winners were Robert Brownell with 429 votes and Brand Robinson with 432 votes. Leonard McArthur received 283 votes and Matt White had 223.

--Monforton School District: Three candidates ran for two seats. Winners were Amy Free with 313 votes and Dale Roos with 359 votes. Kaci Schantz received 220 votes. Monforton requested a $150,000 tax increase over 10 years for building repairs and improvements, which passed by 497 to 266 votes or 65 to 35 percent.

--West Yellowstone School District: Two people ran for one School Board seat: Lara Dukes won with 260 votes, to 113 for Joseph Roos. No tax levies were on the ballot.

--Big Sky Rural Fire District – Four people were competing for two trustee seats. Winners were Renae Schumacher with 435 votes and Carol Collins with 324 votes. Matt Dodd received 205 votes and Bart Mitchell had 244.

--Gallatin River Ranch Rural Fire District: Three people ran for two seats. Winners were Hal Bostic with 43 votes, and Barbara Mack with 29. Nels Sanddal received 16 votes.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at 406-582-2633 or gails@dailychronicle.com.

Gail Schontzler covers schools and Montana State University for the Chronicle.

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