The Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District (CSRHD) has adopted a 2010 budget of $17.5 million.

The budget will see a tax rate of $70 per $100,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as it was last year. Although there is no proposed tax increase in 2010, in order to minimize the tax increase that will be required for long term debt costs in the future, the board will be implementing a four year tax increase strategy.

“The CSRHD is being asked to share in the projected capital cost of two new hospital facilities, based on a cost estimate of $500 to $600 million, which puts our cost share at approximately $240 million.,” said Charlie Cornfield, CSRHD chair. “The gradual tax rate increase from 70 to 84 cents per $1,000 of taxable value from 2011 through 2014 would bring our major capital project reserve balance up to approximately $72 million. This ‘down payment’ would substantially reduce our borrowing requirements and debt payments.”

In addition to the budget containing $9.1 million toward the new hospitals, the CSRHD has also allocated $1.7 million for new capital projects in the existing hospitals in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, and in the other facilities supported by the regional hospital district. In addition approximately $3.2 million is being carried forward for previous years’ projects not yet completed.

The CSRHD provides capital funding, cost shared with the provincial government on a 60/40 basis, with the hospital district portion being 40 percent. The facilities that the CSRHD funds are: Campbell River & District General Hospital, St. Josephs Hospital, Cumberland Regional Hospital Laundry Society, Gold River Health Clinic, and the health centres on Cortes, and in Kyuquot, Tahsis and Zeballos.