The Thompson Regional Hospital District board of directors approved its 2015 annual budget last week. The board also approved cost-sharing with the Interior Health Authority (IHA) for various major equipment and renovation upgrades.
The 2015 annual budget will see no hospital tax increase per household on average. The average household in 2015 will pay $126.55 in hospital taxes, the same amount as 2014.
The 2015 budget employees a strategy of building a reserve in the next few years and borrowing to fulfil the board’s commitment of contributing $100 million towards the Columbia Street Services Building and the Surgical Tower projects at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH). Further incorporated in this strategy is taxation stability at the current rates for the average residence.
The TRHD also approved cost-sharing at 40 per cent with Interior Health for various major equipment and renovation upgrades. The total sum for the upgrades is $5 million, of which the TRHD will pay approximately $1.97 million.
The list includes four renovation projects, including a renovation of the handicapped washrooms at Merritt’s Gillis House, and two pieces of equipment — a CT scanner and an ultrasound/cardiac for RIH.
Thompson Hospital District includes the Thompson-Nicola Regional District plus part of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. Its role is to consider and approve the portion of capital projects for healthcare that are paid for through property taxes.