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New hospital space could mean consolidation | Letters
Vote “no” on the Whidbey General Hospital bond, which would immensely expand Whidbey General at its Coupeville location. The voters have already previously told Whidbey General “no” on this very same proposal in 2011. It deserves to be rejected again.
Whidbey General, a municipal corporation organized under RCW 70.44.010, is situated within the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve and also within the AICUZ noise zones of the Navy’s OLF Coupeville. Whidbey General is therefore very much noise-impacted by Navy jet noise at the OLF. The proposed, massive expansion of Whidbey General in Coupeville would therefore increase encroachment upon the Navy’s OLF Coupeville and would subject more hospital patients to jet noise, and thus it is a seriously bad idea for all rational residents of Whidbey Island.
Moreover, Whidbey General’s Coupeville expansion plans call for new construction that includes “20,000 square feet shelled in below for future use,” but that’s all Whidbey General will say about that “future use.”
Here’s a clue: Whidbey General does not own the Whidbey General North facility in Oak Harbor on Goldie Road. They lease that 14,000-square-foot building, at an annual lease cost of $169,000 in 2008 dollars.
Whidbey General Hospital North’s services are not presently offered in Coupeville. There is no room for them there at present. If you were Whidbey General, what would you do when you instead had excess space in Coupeville at your massively expanded taxpayer-paid-for facility when your Goldie Road lease is expiring in Oak Harbor? Very likely, you would move those services to Coupeville and call it a “business decision.”