Board approves provisional hospital budget

Directors of the Sunshine Coast Regional Hospital District (SCRHD) voted unanimously to approve the provisional 2019 budget for Sechelt Hospital.

Total revenue is $1,738,653 and total expenses are $2,112,758. While the preliminary budget includes a projected operating deficit of $374,105, that will be offset by the transfer of reserves to pay for expenses and debt. As a result, the budget is balanced.

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“As it stands right now we have a slight reduction in taxation of about $4,300 over the 2018 budget,” said chief financial officer Tina Perreault at the Oct. 11 SCRHD board meeting, putting tax requisitions at $1,411,893.

Taxes are collected to cover administration and operating expenses, serving long-term debt and funding for capital and minor equipment. The provisional budget doesn’t include amendments related to assessments, which are received in the new year.

Investment income is expected to increase by $25,000 to $40,000 in 2019. These funds are used to offset taxation.

“It’s noteworthy to see that we don’t have taxation spikes and things are under control,” said SCRHD chair Frank Mauro.

West Howe Sound director Ian Winn commended the staff on achieving a balanced budget.

The budget approval process was bumped up this year to the Oct. 11 SCRHD board meeting because of civic elections.

The board also voted to increase remuneration to offset the elimination of the tax break that saw elected officials taxed on only two-thirds of their income. The new pay will be reflected January 2019. The chair will receive $263.40 per board meeting and directors and alternates will receive $131.70.

“Since the SCRHD Board meets only a few times per year, the financial implications will be minimal and estimated at less than $1,000 annually,” according to the staff report.

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