According to a report in the Columbia Basin Herald, Samaritan Healthcare officials have taken an option on land that could be used to build a new hospital. Costs are unknown in these early stages, but consultants put initial estimates at more than $100 million. A preliminary review of hospital finances indicate the project could be paid for without requesting a construction bond from district voters.

Reporter Cheryl Schweizer writes that initial numbers are, “factored into a ‘very complicated’ financial analysis, which looks at the hospital’s projected business over the next five to 10 years, and ‘overlay on top of that, this amount of additional debt that you’re going to have. At the end, what we’re trying to conclude is whether or not this project can sustain itself on the hospital’s own operating profitability and markets. Our preliminary evaluations are that you can indeed afford a project of that size and scope without having to go to a public bond.’”

The property under option is in Moses Lake, Wash. “The hospital’s current site is 11 acres, which is surrounded by wetlands, other medical and government facilities, and an East Columbia Irrigation District site,” writes Schweizer. “Commissioner Tom Frick said the hospital had inquired about purchasing the ECBID property.”