Town hospital donation won’t be funded by property taxes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 – for immediate release

Town hospital donation won’t be funded by property taxes

Council to approve final funding of local share payment agreement in 2015

The Town of Oakville’s contribution of up to $130 million towards the local share of the new Oakville Hospital will be able to be done without property taxes. This was outlined in a report received at Town Council last night authored by Mayor Burton and CAO Ray Green.

“We’ve made history today,” Mayor Rob Burton told the Council meeting. “No municipality has ever been able to make such a donation without putting it on taxes. And we won’t be affecting our other capital projects. We owe a great vote of thanks to Oakville Hydro for so successfully rising to the challenge I set for them four years ago.”

The town will be in a position to finance its local share commitment of up to $130 million without using property taxes by applying the $40 million special dividend it received from Oakville Hydro from the sale of Blink Communication in 2009. The balance of up to $90 million will be debentured, with the carrying costs funded by annual special dividends from Oakville Hydro’s successful portfolio of companies in green energy projects and other utility related services. The report from the Mayor and the Chief Administrative Officer said Oakville Hydro will provide the town with additional special dividends of between $6.5 million and $8.5 million a year by 2020.

Based on forecasted growth and interest rates for 2015, the town will be able to borrow up to $90 million and stay within Council’s existing policy limits of 6.25 per cent of revenues for tax- supported debt charges, and 12 per cent for total debt charges. Provincial law limits the town’s total debt charges to 25 per cent of revenues but Council has adopted a lower and more conservative policy.

In addition, Council endorsed the key principles of an agreement between the town and Halton Healthcare Services for the transfer of the existing hospital site at 327 Reynolds Street to the town. March 31, 2016 has been established as the vacant possession date to provide sufficient time for the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital to operate until the new hospital is ready for occupancy and the exiting site has been decommissioned (i.e. remove furniture and equipment, decommission gas and oxygen lines, remove underground diesel storage tank and aboveground oxygen tanks).

The new hospital will replace Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, which no longer has the capacity to expand in its current location. The Province of Ontario donated the land at Third Line and Dundas Street for the new hospital. It will be one of the first facilities in Ontario built to new provincial government standards. Information on the new Oakville hospital can be found on the new Oakville Hospital website.

Open the August 11, 2014, Council agenda to read the town’s staff report.

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Town hospital donation won’t be funded by property taxes