Meet the Mayor
June 11, 2014
Imagine the finished product: nestled against a backdrop of trees that borders Windrem Creek, the comprehensive-health-care facility itself will contribute to the health and vitality of the community. No kidding! Trees, flowers, green grass – all of these created and beautiful things reduce our tensions and stress and elevate our health-giving endorphins. When we locate a health-care facility in this setting with well-marked parking and easy, street-level access we can’t help but increase the quality of life in our home town.
Facebook responses as early as May 27 have given us a sense of confidence that Council is taking the right approach to ensure a continuum of health care in Chetwynd.
Your interest in the business plan is apparent, as it should be, since you are the tax payers. The business plan has taken into consideration the level of taxation you enjoy in Chetwynd and it shows that this facility can be built without an increase in taxes and with only minimal draw on District reserves.
There’s no magic involved. It’s pure business in which the user pays with the District picking up a rare shortfall from reserves but replenishing this shortfall when business is booming.
Users will pay market rates for use of the facility which precludes any perception of the District’s giving aid to business.
Your interest in the identity of the users is understandable. We expect Northern Health to take up about one-third of the space with services such as public health, mental health, and others but don’t hold me to the specifics on this. Private health providers have also expressed an interest in working from space in the facility.
The doctors, of course, will take up the greater portion of the facility. With more examining rooms, efficiencies will be greater and waiting times can be reduced. The entire facility will be designed to reduce your stress as a client of its services and enhance your experience on the receiving end of health-care services.
As for the business plan, the District of Chetwynd intends to borrow the full construction cost from the Municipal Finance Authority. At least the District will seek authority to borrow the full price. The District has also received a preliminary indication that a grant of $250 thousand may be considered by Northern Development Initiative Trust. While this grant would be received with pleasure, the project is not dependent on receiving the NDIT grant.
Other funds which will reduce dependence on the loan may also be available. But I stress again: the project does not stand or fall on these grants.
Payback on the loan comes from the rents. Each doctor will pay a fixed amount; Northern Health will pay a fixed amount; any other user will pay according to the space occupied.
I have given you only a very-broad-brush view of the business case for the facility. If you need more detailed information on how the project will sustain itself financially, Administration will be glad to provide it.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor