Special election ballots due today

— Ballots are due today for voters in Okanogan County Hospital District No. 3 (Mid-Valley) and the Methow Valley School District.

Both are seeking approval of tax levy requests.

Ballots must be postmarked today or taken to the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office by 8 p.m. today.

The hospital district, which operates Mid-Valley Hospital and Mid-Valley Medical Group clinic, is seeking $3.8 million in general obligation bonds to make infrastructure improvements to the aging hospital building, 810 Jasmine St.

Voters turned down an identical request last November.

The main portion of the hospital was built about 50 years ago and is showing its age, Administrator Mike Billing said.

Its water and sewer systems are leaky and the roof needs attention. In addition, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system also needs upgrading.

Hospital officials say the bond issue would cost the “average homeowner” $5 per month for the issue’s 15-year duration. The estimated levy rate is about 36 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $72 per year for the owner of property valued at $200,000.

The hospital district proposes:

-Renovating support services areas, including dietary and patient services areas; upgrading and improving plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; upgrading the electronic medical records system to increase efficiency and comply with state and federal standards; and doing minor remodeling, asphalt repair and seal coating as funds permit.

“It’s all going into the facility,” Billing said.

To the west, the Methow Valley School District has two levy requests before voters.

In the first, a six-year capital projects levy, the district is asking for $750,000 per year for collection in 2016-2021. The measure, if approved would cost an estimated 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2016 and lesser amounts in subsequent years, bottoming out at an estimated 52 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2021.

For the first year, that translates to $116 for the owner of property assessed at $200,000.

The district plans improvements at Methow Valley Elementary School, Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School, the Independent Learning Center and bus barn, and improvements to grounds.

Among proposed projects are replacing flooring, upgrading furnishings, modernizing the communications/emergency response systems, replacing doors, removing asbestos, replacing some plumbing fixtures, replacing kitchen equipment, upgrading heating and ventilation, removing the wooden bus barn and creating access to the bus bay, resurfacing the track and tennis courts, installing a soccer/multi-use field and installing an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground at the elementary school.

The second proposal is a two-year levy of $400,000 per year to replace six new school buses.

It would cost voters an estimated 31 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation the first year and 30 cents per $1,000 the second. In the first year, that translates to about $62 for the owner of property assessed at $200,000.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment