Getting a new hospital in Prince Edward County is something residents feel quite passionately about; so when council was asked two weeks ago by the Hospital Foundation to up their contribution, it came as a surprise.
Council had already committed to a contribution of $1.25 million.
Two weeks ago, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation, Penny Rolinski asked council to up that to $4.5 million.
Councillor Steve Ferguson asked on Thursday during the Committee of the Whole session at Shire Hall for a staff report on the request from the Foundation and what impact the increase would have on the 2019 budget.
He says this funding is what they need to come up with to show the province they really believe in this hospital and the new build.
Ferguson says his rationale is to find out exactly what the additional funding ask means and the report will allow council to have a fulsome discussion.
He says without the keystone of a hospital in their community, the County’s ability to attract new residents would be affected and that in turn affects the tax base.
The Foundation’s goal is to raise a total of $16.5 million. Most of that money will go toward the community’s share of the capital cost to build the hospital with a lesser amount going toward new medical equipment and furnishings.
The provincial government would pay 90% of capital costs.
The Foundation already has a little over $6 million pledged. If council kicked in $4.5 million the total would be over $10 million and Rolinski said that would cause the provincial government to believe the community was serious about a new hospital and push the project to a faster reality.
The Foundation says the $4.5 million pledge would work out to $52 a year per household over seven years.
CAO James Hepburn told council he hopes to bring a report forward to council in approximately six weeks time.