FARMINGTON — Farmington voters on Tuesday passed a $35 million bond for the Farmington Municipal School District to fund three major capital projects.

The district's special school bond election question passed overwhelmingly. Unofficial results from the San Juan County Clerk's Office show 1,697 votes in favor of the bond continuation and 359 against it.

According to the clerk's office, 33,963 voters were registered to vote in the bond election, meaning that about 6 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the election.

The clerk's office will finalize the election results later this week.

Election volunteer Tommy Brown, center, handles ballots during the  Farmington Municipal School District’s bond election at the district’s
Election volunteer Tommy Brown, center, handles ballots during the Farmington Municipal School District's bond election at the district's central office in Farmington. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

With the bond passing, the tax rate for district debt service will remain the same at $7.426 per $1,000 net taxable value of a home. That means if a home is valued at $150,000, $50,000 of that would be taxable and the homeowner would pay an annual sum of $371.30.

District Superintendent Janel Ryan said she is thankful the bond passed. She added that the district will fulfill its promises to the voters.

"It shows they care about our kids, our safety and building facilities for them," Ryan said.

The majority of the bond will pay for the district's portion of the costs for the $62.2 million Farmington High School project, the $18.4 million renovation of Hermosa Middle School and the new $19.3 million Northeast Elementary School building.

Other items the bond may also fund include fixing roofs, heating and air conditioning units and playground equipment at elementary schools.

The last bond election for the Farmington school district was on Aug. 31, 2010. Voters then approved a $50 million bond, with 1,759 votes in favor of the bond and 471 votes against it.

San Juan County's Chief Executive Officer Kim Carpenter said he voted in favor of the bond question and was strongly in favor of passing the bond continuation.

Voters wait in line on Tuesday to cast their votes in the Farmington Municipal School District’s bond election at the district’s central office
Voters wait in line on Tuesday to cast their votes in the Farmington Municipal School District's bond election at the district's central office in Farmington. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

"We're in tough economic times where we got to move forward and develop a positive academic atmosphere," Carpenter said, after voting Tuesday at the district's central office. "It's been a situation that I think is definitely and desperately needed."

Anthony Payne, a clerk who worked the election, said about 325 votes were cast at the district's central office by 1:10 p.m.

The turnout for the voting center was larger than expected, he said. Additional computers were brought to the office to help generate voter ballots as the wait to vote on the measure grew to 10 minutes long, Payne said.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.