Burlington, Ont., April 17, 2012 – The City of Burlington’s Budget and Corporate Services Committee today supported a go-forward plan for how the city will manage its promised share of funding for the redevelopment of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.
“We all share a common vision of the future of health care in Burlington. It is one that includes excellent health care for today’s residents in Burlington and for generations to come,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “As stewards of Burlington property taxpayer dollars, we want to ensure we are both transparent and accountable as we make that vision a reality.”
In December 2009, City Council approved up to $60 million as a municipal contribution for the proposed hospital redevelopment plan. The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has also committed to raising $60 million through a fundraising campaign.
Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, on April 13 announced a $22.5 million provincial grant to assist with the cost of planning and designing the first phase of the hospital redevelopment. The first phase includes construction of the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre and a parking structure.
The go-forward strategy presented by staff on April 17 calls for the city to negotiate a contribution agreement that provides for the “responsible and timely release of funds.” The report, which requires council approval on April 30, asks staff to:
• Retain a lead negotiator to draft the contribution agreement. The negotiator would have experience in provincial funding and would understand the role of Infrastructure Ontario and alternative finance projects.
• Hire a strategic consultant to ensure a transparent, accountable and rigorous process for signing an agreement with the hospital.
• Approve $50,000 for retaining legal and strategic expertise.
• Bring the planning portion of the hospital redevelopment—site plan approval—to City Council for discussion. (The process is called “undelegating,” referring to the fact that city staff has delegated authority to approve site plans without appearing before council.)
• Disband the city’s hospital redevelopment working group, which includes staff and three members of council, and instead report directly back to one of the city’s committees with reports and verbal updates.
“The City of Burlington has shown leadership in approving funding for the redevelopment of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of Community Services. “The city team looks forward to continuing to work with the hospital to ensure we meet the health care needs of this community.”
The city collected $1.2 million in 2010, $1.2 million in 2011 and $2.4 million in 2012 through a special tax levy. City Council earmarked $3.6 million from previous years' surpluses, and now has $8.4 million committed in a reserve fund earning interest. The 2012 tax levy amounts to $7.49 for each $100,000 of residential assessment.
The redevelopment project includes a new tower on the hospital site, new operating rooms and in-patient beds, a new intensive care unit, as well as renovations to diagnostic services and to the emergency department. For more about the hospital, visit www.jbmh.com.
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Manager, Public Affairs
Phone: 905-335-7600, ext. 7841
General Manager of Community Services
Phone: 905-335-7600, ext. 7839