Whidbey General Hospital voting ends on Tuesday

Voters have until Tuesday, May 17, to return their ballots on the $50 million bond proposed to fund expansion Whidbey General Hospital.

Hospital officials want to build a new wing comprised of 39 single-bed rooms along with space to expand existing hospital programs. The bond requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

Leaders argue the expansion is necessary to improve patient care, better control the spread of infection and to meet federal privacy regulations. Critics argue the single-bed rooms are unnecessary and won’t improve patient treatment.

If approved, the bond would cost homeowners 34 cents per $1,000 assessed property value. The bonds would be paid off in 26 years, totaling $104 million with interest.

Ballots must be postmarked no later than election day. Also, there are several places voters can drop off ballots:

On Tuesday (election day), ballots can be dropped off at the elections office in Coupeville; the Oak Harbor School District Administration Building at 350 S. Oak Harbor St.; and Trinity Lutheran Church on Highway 525 in Freeland.

Whidbey Island hardware store magnate Bob Sebo has said he will donate $900,000 to the hospital’s surgery center if the bond passes.

The elections ends Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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