Election results out Wednesday show Measure R, the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District bond, has failed.
The results released by the Kern County Elections Office at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday showed 1,839 votes in favor of the bond, and 4,155 votes against the bond.
That is 30.68 percent in favor and 69.32 percent against. The measure required two-thirds of voters to say "yes" to pass. That's with 26 of 26 precincts reporting.
"We are committed to providing the best parks and recreation for our community and we will go back to the drawing board to see what our next steps will be," Laura Lynne Wyatt, chairperson of the park district's board, said Wednesday.
She added, "We want to thank all the volunteers and supporters of the district. The needs of the district are not going away. The 60- to 70-year-old facilities are still in need of major upgrades and repairs."
The $43 million bond is the only one the district has ever placed before its votes.
The district spent more than nine months raising funds for a business plan, planning community survey meetings, creating a final design for a recreation and community center and laying out other revitalization plans should the bond pass.
The bond language was based on a $39 per year property tax fee for each assessed property valuation of $100,000. This is the highest fee survey respondents expressed a willingness to pay on $12-$39 per $100,000. The measure of support for the highest fee, before the community was provided detailed information, was at 58 percent to 61 percent in favor of the $39 per $100,000 assessment
If Measure R had passed, the revitalization of West Park and building a community center was slated to cost $31 million out of the proposed $43 million, according to an Aug. 24 park district feasibility plan.
Other improvements proposed at district meetings called for spending at these locations: Brite Lake at $1.5 million; Meadowbrook Park at $1.6 million; West Park at $2.2 million; Central Park at $700,000; and Morris Park at $10 million.