|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
No tax increase sought in new TMHD budget
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – A new budget approved by the Trinity Memorial Hospital District Monday night is expected to have little if any impact on its tax revenue. Although the tax rate for the coming year will not be calculated until later this year, the budget approved this week seeks no increase in tax revenue. The current property tax rate is listed at 13.086 cents per $100 in assessed value and that figure could go up or down slightly depending on the final total of assessed property values within the hospital district. TMHD’s new budget is set to go into effect on July 1 and marks the first spending plan in three years that does not include a tax reduction. During both of the 2010 and 2011 budgeting cycles, the hospital district’s board reduced their tax income by 10 percent. Under the new budget, TMHD expects to generate $565,000 in property tax income. Interest income of $1,500 and money received from the Tobacco Lawsuit Settlement totaling about $17,000 would give the district a total income of $583,500 during the year. Expenses during the coming year are expected to total $452,000, giving the district a $131,500 operating surplus. In the past, TMHD has used its operating surplus to help fund improvements to the local hospital facilities. Budgeted expenses for the coming year include $300,000 paid to East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) for indigent medical care services; $60,000 in tax collection fees; $36,000 in fees to the Trinity County Appraisal District; $45,000 in professional (legal, auditing, etc.) fees; $5,000 in election expenses; $4,500 in miscellaneous expenses; and $1,500 for office supplies. Building work continues In other business during the meeting, ETMC Hospital Administrator Brett Kirkham noted that remodeling work on the old hospital building is continuing. Last month a new 15-patient room wing, surgical suite and entrance lobby were opened and Kirkham said plans are moving forward to remodel and upgrade some of the old hospital rooms. “We’ve already reached the 15 patient level on two or three occasions since the new wing opened and we will need to upgrade the old rooms to accommodate additional patients,” he told the board. In addition, work is underway to relocate the hospital’s business offices into the space formerly used for the hospital’s kitchen and dining area. A new dietary wing also was opened in May and once that move was made, work crews began tearing out the old kitchen/dining area to make way for the offices. Once the business offices are moved, the old office area will be remodeled into a pediatric clinic for use by Dr. Amol Deshpande. Kirkham said the new clinic area would have two offices and six exam rooms as well as a separate waiting room for the children. Deshpande’s office is currently located in ETMC’s First Physician’s Clinic which is attached to the south side of the hospital. Kirkham told the board the new administration offices would be completed in August and that work on the pediatric clinic was set to begin in September. Other work now being planned for the hospital is the replacement of the old, worn out galvanized water pipes in the old section of the building. Kirkham indicated modern copper piping would be used and the work would cost about $200,000. Other business During the meeting, the board also: • Cancel their July 16 meeting to give board members time to take vacations. • Re-elected Larry King as the board president, Dave Ward as the board vice president and Carlyn Bluis as the board secretary. • Learned that during May, ETMC-Trinity provided a total of $139,000 in indigent or charity care to patients. Kirkham also reported that during the month, the hospital had 55 patients admitted and that three surgeries were performed in the new surgical suite. Kirkham noted that at present, surgical procedures are only being performed on Fridays, but due to the high demand, they will soon be scheduled on both Thursdays and Fridays.