Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
HCHC approves budget amendments
Houston County Courier - August 2009
By Daphne Hereford
CROCKETT – Members of the Houston County Hospital District present for the regular meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 15 approved an amendment to the 2008-2009 budget to accommodate the construction of the recently completed resident housing facility located just behind the hospital.
According to the profit and loss statement, the construction costs of $183,542.21 and the costs projected for this month of $3,000 were not part of the original 2008-2009 budget making the amendment of $187,000 necessary to accommodate the expense.
Originally construction expense for the house was projected to be slightly more than $165,000.
According to Dick Murchison during the financial report, in addition the district was over budget in tax revenue and under budget in interest income.
The amendments increased expenses of the 2008-2009 budget year from $34,966.67 to a projected total of $219,379.87.
The proposed 2009-2010 budget listed total expenses at $273,930.25, which includes $237,096.25 for HVAC work on the surgery center located inside the hospital.
Dr. Patrick Walker said he had been meeting with the architect every two-three weeks and said the cost of the HVAC work was about $20,000 over budget. The amount of the grant was $189,677 and the district’s portion amounts to 20 percent.
Dr. Walker said the bills associated with the grant had to be paid by Dec. 23.
Board members also voted to add an additional $10,000 to the 2009-2010 budget to be used for landscaping and contingency expenses at the resident house.
The total proposed budget surplus for the 2009-2010 year is $505,611.67.
Board Member Dr. Ray Morrison said the house had been officially named Rural Physicians Education Center and that the facility currently had one tenant. He said that letters had been sent to several legislators announcing a grand opening ceremony for the facility to be held on Monday, Nov. 23 beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Morrison said a new resident was expected to arrive next week and two students were expected to use the house beginning Oct. 26.
In other financial matters, board members discussed how to proceed with expiring CDs in light of the approaching expiration of the contract with the district’s depository, first Community Bank, at the end of September.
Board members ultimately voted to let CDs maturing on Sept. 4 in the amount of $251,165.75 and Sept. 6 in the amount of $215,049.61 to be transferred to Flex CDs at an interest rate of 2 percent.
The remainder of the CDs set to mature before the October meeting totaling slightly over $1 million would be deposited into the operating/money market account until the October meeting. The operating account has a current balance of $752,532.90 and pays interest of 1.19 percent.
The influx of the CDs will bring the district’s cash balance to about $1.8 million.
The board instructed Murchison to contact all of the banks in Houston County, with the exception of those in Grapeland, to inquire about their interest in proposing a bid ad the depository for consideration by the district.
During the ETMC update, ETMC Crockett Administrator Terry Cutler said that the emergency room volumes and in-patient care numbers had gone up and that remnants of the flu season were already being seen in the emergency room.
Board Member Virginia Lewis reported that three families had contacted her regarding their experiences at ETMC Crockett. She said two of the families had lost loved ones and each reported in a positive manner about their services and care they received