CHICAGO -- A recount of a Nov. 5 referendum in Oakland County, Mich., failed to eliminate the slim margin of voter approval for issuing up to $500 million of unlimited-tax general obligation bonds for an incinerator and recycling program, county officials said yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the county's election office said the recount, which was paid for by a coalition of environmental groups, only resulted in lowering the margin of affirmative votes to 186 from 257, making the final vote tally 70,924 in favor of the bond issue and 70,738 against.

The vote was certified Dec. 20, the spokeswoman added.

Doug Williams, the county's chief deputy treasurer, said that it is up to the county board to make the next step toward issuing the bonds.

At its next meeting in February, the board could vote on a new schedule for getting waste commitments from communities in the county, Mr. Williams said.

Before the November election, county officials said they could not proceed with building the incinerator until the communities committed to provide 600 tons of waste a day.

Mr. Williams said that, despite the fact that the bonds would carry the county's GO pledge, waste disposal tipping fees from the communities would be used to pay debt service on the bonds.

Diane Pederson, president of Help Oakland Protect the Environment, a member of the coalition, said the groups would begin to lobby their local communities against signing waste agreements with the county.

"Hopefully, [the communities] will realize with the closeness of the election [that] the vote definitely did not show a mandate of the people," she said.

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