Hospital District Keeps an Eye on the Future
The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District continues to plan ahead for large infrastructure projects to ensure funds are available when needed.
After several years of a zero percent increase in taxes, the KERHD Board of Directors approved a plan in 2020 to prepare for projects anticipated in the next 10 to 20 years. “This plan included taxation increases of $30 on the average residential property in each year 2020, 2021 and 2022,” explains CFO Holly Ronnquist. “Planning ahead for these large capital infrastructure projects now will reduce the amount of borrowing in the future and put monies saved on interest to these important projects.”
Interior Health is currently working on a business plan for the Green Home, a long term care home in Cranbrook. If the project goes forward it will see a complete rebuild of the structure and an increase in the number of beds from 60 to 130 (an increase of 70 beds). The KERHD’s share of that project is currently estimated to be $24 million.
The KERHD Board approved a motion in 2017 to support large infrastructure projects at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital for the laboratory, pharmacy, dialysis and oncology. Although no amount has been formally committed, the KERHD’s share of these projects is estimated to be over $100 million.
While Hospitals in Golden and Fernie haven’t seen significant investment in infrastructure in the last 20 years, the KERHD will be asked to fund a portion of these anticipated renewal projects sometime in the future.
In 2021, KERHD taxation on the average residential property assessed at $326,743 is $104.
“With property taxes arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks, we felt it was important to communicate with residents within the KERHD boundary to let them know what to expect on their tax notice this year and the important projects those funds support,” adds Ronnquist.
The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) covers a large area from Golden to Creston and the Elk Valley and funds up to 40% capital funding for acute care facilities in the region for equipment and facility construction and renovation. The Hospital District has a large Board of Directors comprised of representatives of every municipality and electoral area within the hospital district who make decisions on funding and taxation. Administration of KERHD is carried out by the Regional District of East Kootenay.