SOUTH BEND - Sailing toward an easy victory, the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District levy was winning 272-115 Tuesday night.

Voters in the southeast Pacific County district were being asked to support an estimated assessment of $3.24 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The levy will raise about $695,000 in each of the next two years.

The levy replaces one now in effect that produces $611,000 with a rate of $2.90 per $1,000.

This vote comes at a critical time in the history of the school district, which like others in Washington state faces potential loss of hundreds of thousands in state funding, as the Legislature wrestles with a near $3 billion budget deficit mid-way through a two-year budget cycle. The district stands to lose state levy-equalization funds, Initiative 728 and K-4 enhancement funding.

Other Pacific County school levies also appeared to be heading toward winning by wide margins Tuesday, with the exception of one in District No. 160, Menlo-Willapa Valley, where the vote stood at 476-461.

Following a recent constitutional amendment, however, levies only require 50 percent to pass.

Because Washington allows votes to be cast and mailed on Tuesday, the outcome of the Menlo levy may remain in doubt for several days. Other levies led by sufficient margins to be considered decisive wins.

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