I am writing to clear up a misconception about the Okanogan County Public Hospital District #4 Assisted Living. I read in three different places in the Gazette-Tribune dated January 17th, that the community voted for and funded the Assisted Living Building. These comments are not factual.
Here are the facts:
• The Bond of 1995 for $2,000,000 to build the Assisted Living was a Non-Voted Bond, Resolution No. 176 that was passed by the seated Board of Hospital Commissioners. The re-payment was designated to be paid out of the General Funds of the Hospital District.
• In 1997, another Non-Voted Bond, Resolution No. 206 was passed by the seated Board of Commissioners, for an additional $700,000. The re-payment was designated to be paid out of the General Funds of the Hospital District.
• In 2002 there was a refinance of the Bonds by Resolution No. 273. The payments for the refinance come out of the General Funds from the Hospital District, at $18,000 a month. The Bond payment is paid twice per year at $108,000 per payment.
RCW 39.36.020(2)(a)(i) states that Public Hospital Districts are limited to an indebtedness amount not exceeding three-fourths of one percent of the value of the taxable property in such Public Hospital Districts without the assent of three-fifths of the voters therein voting at an election held for that purpose.
The Bonds mentioned above were Non-Voted according and in compliance with the RCW. Therefore, no vote was required by the community.
In 2007, the seated Board of Commissioners supported Resolution No. 362. The Resolution was for an addition to the hospital in the amount of $11,000,000. The principle of and interest on these bonds were to be payable from the annual property tax levies to be made in excess of the regular property tax levies. Therefore, the community had to vote to approve raising those property tax levies.
I have double checked my facts with the Okanogan County Treasurer, and she has double checked the records with the Okanogan County Auditor to ensure the veracity of the Bond issues. I am hopeful that this letter clarifies that the Assisted Living was built and the bonds are being paid for out of the General Fund of the Okanogan County Public Hospital District #4.
Linda J. Michel, CEO
Okanogan Public Hospital District #4