Pullman Regional Hospital asks voters to back $29 million bond

This rendering shows Pullman Regional Hospital's proposed 45,000-square-foot pavilion that will be built as part of its $40 million Next Era of Excellence project. The project hinges on passage of a $29 million bond by voters.

With an estimated 40 ballots left to be counted, it appears the Pullman Regional Hospital’s $29 million bond likely will fail.

Proposition 1, the bond for the hospital, is receiving 59.4 percent approval from voters, short of the 60 percent required to pass. A total of 4,487 ballots have been counted, which surpassed the minimum number needed for validation.

The next ballot count is scheduled for Monday, and the election will be certified Nov. 26.

Proposition 1 was intended to fund a 45,000-square-foot facility expansion and a new electronic medical records system. The expansion would include space for a residency program.

“It’s disappointing,” said PRH spokeswoman Megan Guido said of Monday’s results. “It’s awfully close.”

Guido said PRH is grateful for the support of the majority of voters who voted “yes” on Proposition 1 to support the hospital’s plans for its future.

“We’ll continue to talk about the options and what we can do in terms of different funding sources,” she said. “That’s obviously a key one that doesn’t appear to be available to us.”

She said the hospital will wait until the official certification on Nov. 26 for the final numbers.

A similar PRH proposition in the spring drew a majority of yes votes, but voter turnout was too low for the election to be valid.

In other races, it appears Eileen Macoll and Ann Parks will likely hold on to win their respective Pullman City Council races.

The incumbent Parks (1,405 votes) is leading Chris Johnson (1,313) in Ward 1 with 51.4 percent of the vote. The incumbent Macoll (2,065 votes) is leading Francis Benjamin (1,929) with 51.4 percent of the vote.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson ran unopposed for another term. Pat Wright and Nathan Weller ran unopposed to retain their City Council positions.

In the only contested Palouse School District Board race, Rachel Handley-Chartrand leads Jerry Neumann, 281 votes to 228.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4630, or by email to akuipers@dnews.com.

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