Elections

Ada and Canyon voters appear to deny CWI levy, just barely

The College of Western Idaho is asking for a recount of last week’s levy election, which would have paid for a $49 million health science building on the Nampa campus. The levy failed by just 144 votes.
The College of Western Idaho is asking for a recount of last week’s levy election, which would have paid for a $49 million health science building on the Nampa campus. The levy failed by just 144 votes.

Voters in Ada and Canyon counties appeared to deny the College of Western Idaho’s proposed levy to raise property taxes for a new health sciences building in Nampa. With all precincts in Ada and Canyon County reporting, backers of the levy were at 54.94 percent, according to tallies by the Ada and Canyon county clerks’ offices. That’s less than a tenth of a percentage point below the 55 percent needed for passage.

The building would be a center for training nurses, surgical technicians, medical assistants and other health-care professionals at the community college.

The measure asked voters if they wanted CWI to raise property taxes for the $49 million building. The measure would add $12.63 per year for 10 years to the tax bill of a typical $250,000 house. That owner now pays $21.47 per year toward CWI.

The four-story, 100,000-square-foot health science building would be built just north of the Ford Idaho Center. It would house all of the school’s health-care education programs for nurses, nurse assistants, surgical technicians, medical assistants and other professions.

Levy backers said Idaho needs 1,600 more health-care professionals than it has, and the need is growing as more people, many of them retired, move into the state. A new health science building would help CWI close that gap, they said.

The building was part of a larger, $180 million bond issue that voters rejected two years ago that would have included a Boise campus on the north side of Main Street along the Boise River west of Downtown Boise. That campus remains on CWI’s drawing boards.



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