KGH Tax Follow-Up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

KGH Tax Follow-Up

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Posted: Wednesday, November 7th 6:25 p.m.

KENNEWICK, Wash.--Last night, voters against a proposed levy sent Kennewick General Hospital (KGH) officials a message that said..find a different way to build a new hospital.

At yesterday's (Tuesday, November 6th) count, 65 percent of voters opposed a property tax increase. Today, one hospital board member reaffirms the need for a new facility.

"We're literally bursting at the seams in terms of patients and diagnostics, births and other things which we provide here," according to Secretary of KGH Board, Vic Johnson.

Ray Robinson says his "better plan" only applies to expanding and upgrading the current hospital. By borrowing $56 million in general obligation bonds and $50 million in revenue bonds, everybody wins.

"It saves patient revenues, 60, 70, 80 million," says Vice Chairman of A Better Plan for Quality Healthcare, Ray Robinson. It saves taxpayers $20, $30, $40 million (dollars). It saves six years, seven years off of their 37 year schedule."

A schedule that will now include persistence.

"We have to continue that educational process to make people understand that healthcare, more healthcare, more modern healthcare facilities have to be built to service the community," adds Johnson."

But this community, according to Robinson, wants real numbers, not estimations.

"They definitely didn't do their homework, even on the Southridge proposal," says Robinson. Why do you ask the voters for a certain amount of money when you don't really know what your gonna do, what its gonna cost, what its gonna look like?"