First tax increase in 11 years for KERHD
The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) Feb. 8 adopted its annual budget for 2019.
The total budget is $6,586,460, which includes new approvals for just over $2.4 million in capital expenditures and $3.2 million for unfinished capital projects from 2018.
The largest single capital project in this year’s budget is $580,000 in funding for the pharmacy renovation at East Kootenay Regional Hospital (pictured).
“The budget as adopted shows a two per cent increase in taxation over last year, which represents a $1 increase on the average residential tax bill,” said KERHD Board Chair and District of Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher. “This is the first time in 11 years that we have had a tax increase and reflects the increase in capital requests from Interior Health for projects that will lead directly to improved patient services for our residents.”
Some of the other capital projects for the coming year include the renovation of the Ambulatory Care Department at Elk Valley Hospital, Home Support Ventilation at the Creston Valley Hospital, Fire Suppression in the entrance at Golden & District Hospital, new anesthetic units for the Elk Valley and Creston Valley Hospitals, and a Digital General Radiographic System for the Creston Valley Hospital.
The 2019 budget also includes $377,200 in global grants for projects under $100,000, a portion of which goes to Interior Health operated residential care homes.
This year’s Hospital District tax rate will work out to about $42 on the average residential property assessed at $285,000.
The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District covers a large area including the RDEK, the Towns of Creston and Golden as well as their surrounding rural communities.
The function of the Hospital District is to provide up to 40% of the funding for equipment and construction projects at health care facilities within the Hospital District, with the remaining cost being covered by Interior Health.