Hospital board talks 2021 tax rate

By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County Hospital District met in Regular Session on August 12, 2020. The Board reviewed the Certified Taxable Values submitted by the Culberson County Appraisal District noting that the 2020 Values were at $3,137,150,570 which is up significantly from the 2019 values of $2,429,925,960. The Board acknowledged that the 2021 values could decline unless the economy bounces back by the end of the year. The Board then reviewed the No-New-Revenue (NNR) Tax Rate (formerly effective tax rate) calculation for 2020, noting that the NNR is $0.117749/$100 valuation, including $0.020339/$100 valuation for debt service. The Voter Approval Tax Rate (formerly Rollback Rate) is $0.119229. After discussion, the Board determined it would seek a tax rate increase to the Voter Approval Tax Rate. This will increase the NNR M&O Rate from $0.091565 to $0.098890 for a total tax rate of $0.119229 for 2020. This rate is still below the 2019 rate of $0.120041. The public hearing is scheduled for September 9, 2020. The Board also approved the 2019 Annual Report submitted by the Culberson County Appraisal District, noting the collections stood at 97.06% as of June 30, 2020.

Hospital Administrator Rick Gray briefed the Board on the Culberson Hospital’s response to the COVID-19, noting that they are still tracking and monitoring visitors at the entrance to the facility. He noted that over 200 COVID-19 tests had been administered thus far with 18 positive results at the time of the meeting. Gray reported that Preferred Management Corporation has ordered a new machine to conduct the COVID-19 tests in-house with expected delivery in the fall.

Gray reported that Preferred had purchased a new telemetry unit for the Emergency Room and Hospital. He noted that inspectors are focusing on infection control. To increase compliance, Preferred has also purchased new lab equipment and waiting room furniture with a non-porous finish. Gray also reported that El Paso had received decontamination equipment through the government, noting that Culberson Hospital had sent PPEs in for decontamination which stretches the supply of PPEs.

Len Slaughter, Project Superintendent with Frontera Construction, reported on the status of the parking lot/façade improvements project, noting that everything is still on hold until the final approved drawings on the canopy are received from Avadek and approved by the structural engineer. The footers cannot be poured until the drawings are approved. The approaches have to wait until the footings are poured as there is not enough concrete needed for the approaches to warrant a delivery by the concrete company. The structural engineer anticipates his review to be complete by the end of the week. Slaughter also noted that fabrication time for the steel is 8-14 weeks.

The Board then conducted a budget work session for the FY 2020-2021 budgets, requesting quotes for various capital expenditures for possible inclusion in the budget including office furniture for the hospital and security cameras. The District then authorized the purchase of a 2021 Tahoe rescue vehicle for the EMS from Professional Ambulance Sales.

In other business, the Culberson County Hospital District:

Approved the consent agenda.

Authorized a letter of support for TXDOT’s expansion of FM 2185 to the northern part of the County which will improve emergency access to the oil and gas sites.

Acknowledged Notice of Collateral Assignment for the Tax Abatement Agreement from SE Titan LLC.

Approved change order for irrigation extension for the parking lot project.

Approved the order of rock from Acme Brick for the hospital façade.

Received a report on the progress for the helipad design and FAA approval.

Authorized an additional payment on the construction loan.


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