The Powell River Regional Hospital District Board of Directors has approved the 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets and the Five-Year Financial Plan. In doing so they also made history.
The Regional Hospital District is statutorily obligated to submit its annual Operating and Capital budgets by March 31 of each year. This year, however, that deadline was extended to April 20, 2016. The reason for the extension was because the Tla’amin Nation Final Agreement came into effect on April 5, 2016.
Previous legislation stated that a regional hospital district board consisted of the directors on the board of the regional district that corresponded to the regional hospital district. With the Final Agreement in place, one of the considerations contained within that document stated that Tla’amin Nation was to immediately become a member of the Powell River Regional Hospital District Board.
Highlights of the budget consisted of continual pay down for the recently constructed Willingdon Creek Village Complex Care Facility and $157,000 approved grant funding to the Powell River General Hospital for the acquisition of minor capital and equipment. The Board also approved a cost shared major capital improvement initiative with Vancouver Coastal Health amounting to $330,000 in 2016 and $236,000 in 2017 to replace the Nurse Call System and to purchase a Patient Monitor System. Overall the 2016 budget of $1,027,555 represents a $77,555 increase over 2015. This translates into a residential tax rate of approximately $25.00 per $100,000 of net taxable value based on the 2016 Revised Roll Values or a $1.00 increase over last year.
Chair Colin Palmer stated, “The budget and taxes are quite static. However, the Board has made a significant shift in supporting patient care through major capital grant funding. We are concerned that the Provincial Government is not totally funding such projects. The Board may be more reluctant to provide funding for capital projects of a similar nature in the future”. Info Creds: Powell River Regional District.