WATERFORD — After a daylong recount of more than 4,600 ballots, the Waterford Union High School Board of Canvassers confirmed that the yes votes won by a narrow five-vote margin in an April 2 school referendum.
The results of the April 8 recount show a final unofficial total of 2,313 yes votes and 2,308 no votes. The initial unofficial results released on April 2 had 2,310 votes in favor and 2,307 against.
Waterford High Superintendent Keith Brandstetter said the four additional votes uncovered by the Board of Canvassers during the recount came from the towns of Waterford and Norway.
Now that the recount is finished, voters have five days to decide whether to file an appeal with the Racine County Circuit Court. The Board of Canvassers is set to meet April 16 to confirm the recount, after which vote totals will be official.
Brandstetter said that he’s glad the recount took place, especially since the vote was so close.
“I’m relieved,” he said. “We checked every ballot, and now there are no questions.”
The referendum asked those living in the district to approve almost $10 million in borrowing. Those funds are set to pay for roof replacements, milling and repaving of existing parking lots and the addition of 200 parking spaces as well as the replacement of outdated furnaces and cooling systems.
The referendum won in the villages of Waterford and Rochester, but was defeated in the other four municipalities that have territory in the high school district.
This referendum follows two failed attempts in 2016 and 2017 to get voter approval for $12.21 million in borrowing for a new fieldhouse.
The district serves the Village and Town of Waterford and portions of Rochester, Norway, Raymond and Dover.
The School Board had asked the public for the funds to pay for “remodeling, improvements, upgrades and expansions to the district’s existing school facility including classroom upgrades.”
WHS Superintendent Keith Brandstetter said the money is “significant” for the school.
“I just don’t think the problem is going to go away,” Brandstetter said. “The roof needs to be repaired, the HVAC needs to be upgraded, technology needs to be upgraded, so some of those things are going to need to be done.”