The bond to fund the Umatilla Morrow Radio & Data District was passing by a slim margin Tuesday. Election results from the two counties are still unofficial.

In Umatilla County, about 620 more voters supported the bond. At 9:38 p.m. the county listed 7,044 ‘yes’ votes (52.31 percent) and 6,423 ‘no’ votes (47.69 percent).

In Morrow County, a similarly slim lead was leaning toward the positive, by about 230 votes. ‘Yes’ votes accounted for 1615 (53.97 percent) and 'no' votes accounted for 1,377 (46.02 percent).

“It’s a slim majority but it is positive,”?said Mike Roxbury, chairman of the Umatilla Morrow Radio &?Data District board. “If these results hold, I think I can speak for the board and the public safety community in Umatilla and Morrow Counties and say we appreciate voters for passing it.”

The bond is at a rate of 17 cents per $1,000 property valuation. It will fund upkeep of a radio system built and originally funded by the federal government through the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.

Supporters have compared it to winning a Cadillac car and then having to pay for upkeep and insurance. It’s a great thing to have, but it does cost to keep it going.

Additionally, as long as the bond is passed, it gives the board enough time to fund itself before the Umatilla Chemical Depot finishes its work and federal funds dry up.

Roxbury said the latest end date for depot work he has heard is December, 2011. If the bond passed on Tuesday, then the district will begin receiving tax dollars at the end of 2011.

“All in all this is the best result we could have hoped for,”?Roxbury said, “if it sticks.”

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