By Becky Brewster
The Culberson County Hospital District met in Regular Session on August 11, 2021. The Board approved the 2020 Annual Report/Delinquent Tax Roll from the Culberson County Appraisal District. The 2020 delinquent taxes totaled $60,742.03 as of June 30, 2021 with a tax collection rate of 98.53%. The CCAD presented the Certified Taxable Value for 2021 at $3,227,077,110 which is up by almost $90M from the 2020 Taxable Value of $3,137,150,570. Real/Personal property is certified at $117,227,970 and Minerals at $3,109,077,110.
Becky Brewster reported that the CCAD has not provided the tax rate calculation for 2021 due to a delay in getting the revised forms from the State. The consensus of the Board was to adopt the calculated effective tax rate (“no-new-revenue tax rate”) rather than consider the “voter-approval” tax rate which provides for an increase of up to 3.5%.
Judy Blazek, Project Manager, updated the Board on the improvements to the old clinic building which currently houses the EMS sleep rooms, noting that the painting and landscaping were completed prior to the Jubilee. The additional rock for the wainscoting has been ordered and should be delivered soon.
Blazek, and Anita Beard, landscape architect, discussed Phase II of the landscaping project. Phase II is to refresh and restore the 2010 landscaping on the hospital wing and will also incorporate the drainage issues from Phase I and an additional sidewalk from the parking lot to the clinic. Blazek reported that the drainage issues and the proposed addition of a sidewalk on the north and west perimeters will require the services of a civil engineer and coordination with TxDOT. It was noted that a boundary survey and a topographical survey will be needed as well. Ms. Blazek will check to determine what information is available from prior projects. In the meantime, she will solicit proposals for engineering and surveying services.
Blazek also noted that the windows are being fabricated and scheduled for installation in September. The Board discussed the EMS facility, noting that there needs to be a visioning session to develop the scope of the project before going any further. The Board reviewed a proposal from Rees for architectural services for the relocation of the helipad. The proposal was for $15,000 which is a net $7,925 cost increase since the original agreement would be terminated. The consensus of the Board was to “pause” any decisions on future construction projects in order to regroup, review and update the capital improvements plan to make sure everyone is on the same page. Ms. Blazek will attend the next meeting to help facilitate this process.
A summary of items still pending include the Phase II landscaping, helipad, EMS facility, gate for the mechanical yard, the screen by dietary, fencing of the property on the south and east sides, and sidewalks on the north and west sides.
Hospital Administrator Rick Gray briefed the Board on Culberson Hospital’s response to the COVID-19, reporting that 64% of the state has been vaccinated, and that Culberson County is also at about 64%. Mr. Gray noted that vaccinations are available at the Clinic now for anyone ages 12 and up. He reported on the increase in cases nationwide which is causing staffing problems and concerns about available beds to handle the uptick.
The Board also authorized Preferred/EMS to purchase a rescue vehicle (4-WD/quad cab) at a cost not to exceed $49,999.99. The Board then discussed the advantages of an ATV equipped with a transport unit, noting that this could be hauled behind the rescue vehicle. Pricing will be presented at a future meeting.
The Board conducted a budget worksession for the FY 2021-2022 fiscal year and scheduled a budget hearing for September 8, 2021.
In other business, the Culberson County Hospital District:
Approved the consent agenda.
Approved a refund of taxes to Mesa Compression based on an ARB ruling.
Received a report on upcoming training for CFO Brewster, and available training for Board members.
Authorized an additional principal payment on the construction note at Van Horn Bank.
Discussed grounds maintenance issues.
Acknowledged a donation on behalf of Mike Schultze.
Determined the location for mounting the Lipsey plaque.