Primary Election ballots due Tuesday
Ballots for the Primary Election on Tuesday (Aug. 3), mailed earlier to registered voters, include a prepaid-postage return envelope, so people who return their ballots via U.S. mail do not have to pay for a stamp. Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, and voters are encouraged to get them in the mail as soon as possible. All returned ballots must be signed.
Voters who place their ballots in an official drop box must do so by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drop box locations may be found at https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx. There are ballot drop boxes at the Winthrop Barn, and at the temporary Twisp Town Hall offices on East Second Avenue.
People can still register or update their registration in person at the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office during business hours and until 8 p.m. on Aug. 3. Registered voters can log in to https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspxto access their personal voting information. More voter and election information, including county elections office locations, is available at www.sos.wa.gov/elections.
If you have not received a ballot, or for other election information, contact the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office at (509) 422‑7240.
Three Rivers levy request on ballot
Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster is seeking to renew a one-year excess tax levy at the same level approved by voters last year. The levy proposition is on the Aug. 3 primary ballot.
The current excess tax levy, which passed with a combined 71% in Okanogan and Douglas counties in 2020, has been used to help offset the cost of maintaining emergency services 24 hours a day, every day.
The approved rate was 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, and the hospital is not asking for an increase, said Scott Graham, chief executive officer.
“We are requesting that it be extended for another year at the same rate,” he said.
If approved, the estimated annual tax for a home valued at $200,000 would be $66 per year. Among other operational costs, the revenue is used to pay for round-the-clock staffing with board-certified physicians through a contract with ERx Group LLC.
Three Rivers Hospital also receives funding through an ongoing annual property tax levied by the hospital district. In 2016, hospital district voters approved a levy lid lift on the existing tax levy, raising the rate from 63 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to a maximum of 75 cents per $1,000. The current tax rate is about 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Three Rivers Hospital is a public, nonprofit hospital that serves the largest geographic hospital district in Washington — an area of 2,500 square miles that includes the Methow Valley. About 15,000 people live in the district.
Questions regarding the Three Rivers Hospital levy proposition can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (509) 645‑3347.
Fundraising for small biz grants
TwispWorks, in partnership with the Methow Valley chambers of commerce, is relaunching its Small Business Emergency Grants program to support local businesses (and their employees) that are being negatively affected by the summer’s fires.
A GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 has been started at www.gofundme.com/f/methow-valley. As of early this week, the total raised stood at $1,935.
The TwispWorks Small Business Emergency Grant Fund was originally created to help businesses in Methow Valley which were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 60 local businesses received grants totaling nearly $115,000. The funds were largely provided by donations to the grant program.
County fair vendors
The Okanogan County Fair Advisory Club is inviting vendors to participate in the 2021 Fair, scheduled for Sept. 9 – 12. For information, email email@example.com, or visit https://okanogancounty.org/government/fairgrounds/the_fair/index.php.
Methow At Home event
A discussion about advance care planning will be available online on Aug. 4 from 4 – 5 p.m. Register at methowathome.org.
MV Communications District
The Methow Valley Communications District board of directors will meet Monday (Aug. 2) at the TwispWorks conference room, starting at 4 p.m. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.