Opinion

Time for a new hospital

Several weeks ago the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners voted to put forth a levy lid lift for Hospital District No. 4, raising the levy from 45 cents per thousand of assessed value to 75 cents. The impact would be $10 a month for a $400,000 home. I personally was the proponent in the voters pamphlet to be available soon and some have asked why.

The Valley has had many troubles over the years with regards to sustaining a hospital, but I firmly believe the current board and staff realize what a small community hospital needs to do to sustain itself. I also believe the current board and staff do everything up front, unlike some past administrations of the district and hospital.

East King County is growing and infrastructure is our biggest problem. We lack several things, such as adequate police protection in unincorporated areas, lack of sewers and water for the growth that is inevitable and a hospital that is quickly becoming too small for our needs.

Maybe you want to drive to Bellevue or even Issaquah for services but, frankly, I enjoy the ability to use the emergency room here if necessary. Our family has had a few occasions where we have made a quick trip to the emergency room for various reasons and it puts us at ease knowing that it is only 10 minutes away.

Some may say the current site is adequate or the current facility is adequate. I would urge you to talk to the hospital administration or board members and visit the current facilities. Services are offered in a much different fashion today then they were 30 years ago when the hospital was designed. Outpatient surgery is far more frequent, requiring different facilities then those for inpatient care.

The hospital isn't the most convenient for those traveling westbound on Interstate 90, nor is it convenient from Maple Valley, part of the hospital district.

A move to a new location will provide easy freeway access, expanded services and fantastic marketing with freeway visibility (after all, it is a business).

It's time to invest in our own hospital facility, the one we all pay for with our property taxes and the amount requested will provide us top-notch facilities. I urge you to get out and vote for the levy lid lift.

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