On June 7, the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board (CSRHD) approved its debt financing plan to help fund the North Island Hospital project.
The CSRH contributed 40 per cent — $240,700,000 — of the capital costs towards the construction of the North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley. Both hospitals opened in the fall of 2017.
On Thursday, the hospital district board approved entering into a long-term debt payment plan with the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA), with a maximum 10-year debenture in the amount of $89,000,000.
A hospital district staff report recommended entering into a debt payment plan now because interest rates are at 3.21 per cent, but have been steadily increasing since the end of 2017.
CSRH chair Charlie Cornfield said after the meeting that he was pleased with the board’s decision.
“To have that paid off in this length of time is amazing,” he said. “The [provincial] government is looking at 30 years to cover their share. We’re going to do ours in eight.”
He said the tax impact on residents will remain the same and mentioned a “war chest” that will help finance future projects.
“…we should not have to tax the residents for future capital expenditures because it’s already included in this $25 million reserve for the future,” he said.
The total capital cost of the North Island Hospital project was $606.2 million, with the cost split 60-40 between the B.C. government and the CSRHD.