An unprecedented local turnout on election day saw Hunt County voters saying yes to more than $24 million in bonds to pay for transportation improvement projects and resulted in an extremely close race to elect a new Hunt County Constable.
A total of 31,805 people voted in Tuesday’s elections in Hunt County, a 60.69 percent turnout of the county’s 52,405 registered voters.
Unofficial final election returns were not released by the Hunt County Voter Administration Office until late Tuesday night, and did not include an unknown number of provisional ballots which will need to be counted separately.
Hunt County voters approved more than $24 million in bonds to help pay for multiple transportation projects across the county. The measure passed with 17,828 votes for (64.6 percent) to 9,734 votes against (35.3 percent).
The Hunt County Transportation Plan Committee began meeting in 2010 to map out the county’s future transportation needs, eventually coming up with list of projects designed to address the growth which is approaching the county from the west, north and south, ranking the projects in order of greatest need and the most significant impact to the county, coming up with the $24.4 million bond proposal.
The proposed projects include the rebuilding of Farm to Market 2642, the widening of FM 1570 from Interstate 30 to State Highway 34, the widening of State Highway 34 from FM 1903 to FM 1570 and the construction of an underpass/overpass for pedestrian traffic on State Highway 24 in Commerce for students of Texas A&M University - Commerce.
The majority of the funding for the projects, as much as $162.4 million, would come from TxDOT via statewide propositions approved by voters in 2014 and 2015.
The measure will increase taxes for residents by 1.5 cents per $100 valuation, adding about $15 to the annual property tax bill of an average homeowner in the county.
The closest race of the night pitted incumbent Democratic Hunt County Constable Wayne “Doc” Pierce against Republican Charles Adams. The contest was neck and neck the entire night, but ended with Adams receiving 1,480 votes (50.1 percent) to Pierce’s 1,471votes (49.8 percent). County officials said the final result of that race must wait until provisional ballots have been counted.
Elsewhere around the county, Caddo Mills voters approved the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption by a margin of 314 (65 percent) to 172 (35 percent).
In West Tawakoni, Keith Goodson won the mayoral election with a 247-148 victory over Tomi Shoemake. West Tawakoni City Council Place 4 went to John Hinchcliffe, who deafeated Lyle varnes 231-141.
In Royse City, sales of all alcoholic beverages were approved by a 91-37 margin in the Hunt County portion of Royse City. Most of the municipality is in Rockwall County, where Royse City voters approved the measure 1,737-552, thus resulting in a total of 1,828 votes approving alcohol sales to 589 against.
In school district elections around the county, Kendal Wright, Trent Poe, Jeff Striplin nad James Wigington were elected to the Bland Independent School District Board of Trustees. Cumby ISD voters elected Jason Hudson, Tony Aguilar and Jody Jarvis to their Board of Trustees.