Local homeowners will pay less for hospital bonds than projected

A recent drop in interest rates means tax savings for local homeowners, who will pay approximately 33 cents per thousand for 25 years on the community’s new hospital building project. This is both a lower amount and a shorter time period than anticipated.

When the capital bond measure was passed by almost 65 percent in 2017, the hospital district projected voters would pay a rate of 38 cents per thousand for 30 years. A 4.55 percent interest rate secured by the District in December allows the hospital to pass savings on to taxpayers.

“If a home is valued at $300,000, the owner will pay just under $100 a year,” explained Jim Nelson, Bond Underwriter, from D.A. Davidson, at December’s Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) Board meeting. Taxpayers will begin paying for the project in 2019.

“We are very pleased to have the bonds for our new hospital come in under the originally projected amount,” said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “It was the Board’s priority to minimize cost to the taxpayers as much as possible on this project, and this is very good news for property owners in our Hospital District.”

In April 2017, local voters voted to approve the bond measure for $20 million to help fund construction of the new hospital facility. The remaining project costs will be funded by LCCHC, with loans from USDA, grants and the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation.

The LCCHC Board anticipates breaking ground on the new building in fall of 2019, with occupancy in 2021. It will be built on hospital-owned property at Chelan Apple Blossom Drive, near Wal-Mart, across from Columbia Valley Community Health, and have private patient rooms, increased outpatient capacity and a larger Emergency Department. It will also have space for rehabilitative therapy, laboratory and radiology, as well as an expanded surgery department and a helicopter pad for emergency transfers.