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Hospital board budget means rate hikes for district

Rate hike going to Royal Inland Hospital renovations.

The Thompson Regional Hospital District Board of Directors has approved its 2014 annual budget, and approved cost-sharing with the Interior Health Authority (IHA) for various major equipment and renovation upgrades.

The 2014 annual budget will see an increase of $21 per household on average. The average household in 2014 will pay $126.55 as compared to $105.60 in 2013.

“This increase is part of a larger tax strategy in anticipation of the Hospital District contributing $100 million towards the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) Master Plan,” said TRHD Chair Peter Milobar. “This includes the construction of the RIH Clinical Services Building and Parkade, and the Surgical Tower.”

The three-year tax strategy, which wraps up at the end of 2014, employs building a reserve in the next few years and then borrowing the balance of funds once the project is complete.

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 $7.2 million, of which the TRHD will pay approximately $2.6 million. The list includes six renovation projects, including a renovation of the Anatomic Pathology Unit at RIH, and six pieces of equipment, including a Gamma Camera for RIH and a Nurse Call for Ponderosa Lodge in Kamloops.