Quincy hospital voters approving maintenance and operations levy

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QUINCY — A proposal for a special one-year $875,000 maintenance and operations levy for Quincy Valley Medical Center is being approved in unofficial election results released Tuesday night.

As of Tuesday, the measure had received 772 yes votes, 56.64 percent, to 591 no votes, 43.36 percent.

If the measure passes, property owners in Quincy will pay an additional 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of property valued at $200,000 will pay an additional $50.

Because it’s a maintenance and operations levy, the measure requires a bare majority, anything over 50 percent, to pass.

Tricia Stevens, Grant County certified elections administrator, said ballots that were dropped off Tuesday in ballot boxes outside Ephrata are collected after the polls officially close and aren’t included in the Tuesday night totals. Ballots mailed Tuesday aren’t included either, she said.

Updated vote totals will be released late Wednesday afternoon, according to the Grant County Auditor’s website.

The vote follows repeated efforts of the hospital district to pay down debt owed to Grant County; QVMC has struggled with paying back the debt for years.

Interest-bearing warrants are issued by junior taxing districts when they don’t have enough cash on hand to meet their obligations. The district, in this case QVMC, borrows money from the county to pay the bills, then pays the money back with interest.

Quincy hospital has been using warrants for a few years, and has struggled with cutting its accumulated warrant balance. The amount owed at any given time varies, but the Grant County commissioners voted in September to raise the amount the district was allowed to borrow to $5 million.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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