The referendum on the Margate ballot asking whether the city should spend $600,000 on a new site for the building department was defeated, City Clerk Tom Hiltner said.

The unofficial machine count was 1,453 no votes and 1,124 yes votes, Hiltner said. Mail-in votes have yet to be counted.

If approved, the construction offices would have been built on the site of the historical society on Washington Avenue.