With 99% of the vote counted, the tally for Newport’s new hospital looks very promising. 3300 voters voting yes. 3149 voting no. 51% to 49%. The test will be the last 1% that comes in which will take two weeks to get counted and certified. But if it holds – and it might – Newport will have it’s new hospital – all $57 million of it.
The compelling arguments in favor of the new hospital was that the old one could not withstand a major earthquake – so whoever needed acute medical help after the earthquake probably wouldn’t survive long. The chances of making it to a Corvallis facility would be slim to none. Another factor was that it was getting harder and harder to recruit new doctors into such backwater facilities as the current hospital which was built decades ago.
Samaritan PCH CEO David Bigelow told News Lincoln County that the new hospital will feature nuclear medicine, enhanced cardiology, orthopedic surgery and advanced cancer detection. He predicted up to $10 million in new medical equipment, a new doctor’s complex and 50 new jobs associated with the hospital.
As for the tax increase that appears coming up over the horizon, those who own a $150,000 home will be paying $12.50 more a month in property taxes ($150/year), those who own a $250,000 home will be paying $25 more a month in property taxes ($300 a year) and those who own a $350,000 home will be paying $35 more a month in property taxes ($420 a year). And it goes up proportionately from there.
The hospital’s next step is moving ahead with needs assessments and building designs. It’ll be a while before they break ground on the new hospital.
With the (probable) success of the new hospital for Newport, it’s likely to bolster the confidence of the North Lincoln Hospital District board which is contemplating a public vote on a new hospital of their own to be located very close to their current one.