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$252 million courthouse bond fails in Lane County

As of 8 p.m. nearly two-thirds of voters were opposing the measure, which would have helped fund the $252 million project.

Posted: May 21, 2019 8:49 PM
Updated: May 22, 2019 6:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County Courthouse bond failed to pass on Election Day.

Nearly 60 percent of voters opposed the measure, which would have helped fund the $252 million project. 

Voters said they are split about the decision.

"I worked in the courthouse in 1985 and 86 and it seemed like a fine place then. And I went back relatively recently, and I just feel like it's not a good building," said Eugene resident David Wilson.

"In my opinion, they do not need to build a brand new courthouse one block over," said Eugene resident Cat Birmingham. 

Joe Berney, a Lane County Commissioner, said the $94 million dollars from the state and approval from voters is essential to move forward with the project.

County officials said they will review the final election results to determine whether the Legislature will still contribute the money and will then decide whether to place an updated bond measure before voters.

Berney said it's unclear if those funds can be used in the future and said that could mean a higher price tag for taxpayers.

Opponents cited concerns the project was too expensive and some felt the money would be better spent helping the homeless community.

Prior to the vote, Lane County Jay Bozievich said the new courthouse would help the homeless community by providing new drug courts, mental health courts and veterans courts.

If passed, the bond would have cost property owners 29 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value on their homes.

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