August 1st, 2011
HAVELOCK — Along with its application for 128 long-term care beds Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township is sending a message to the province: it has a site rezoned and ready and it has the partners to build and operate a much-needed long-term-care home in a community with a growing seniors population.
"We're shovel ready, we're ready to start construction today," Reeve Ron Gerow told Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal and a room full of township residents Thursday morning at the Havelock Community Centre.
"Make no mistake, we're serious; this project is moving forward," Gerow said. "We're here to officially present our application from the township for 128 long-term-care beds to our MPP Jeff Leal, and we're asking him on our behalf and with his support to convey this to the minister of health and long-term care and the Central East (Local Health Integration Network).
Leal said he is pleased the municipality has put together a proposal for a long-term-care facility and stressed his commitment to working to move the project forward.
"I will continue my commitment to deliver results in Peterborough riding. "And this is certainly a priority item. There is a need for more long-term-care bed capacity in this area, particularly in the eastern end of Peterborough County."
Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township is proposing to build a 128-bed long-term care facility for seniors in Havelock.
The facility would be built on an 18-acre parcel of land on Old Norwood Rd. at the corner of Concession St. in partnership with Aon Inc., the Peterborough company that built similar facilities in the area, including Centennial Place in Millbrook and Moira Place in Tweed.
The municipality is purchasing the privately owned land for $200,000 and will spend about another $200,000 to service the development.
The proposed long-term-care home would provide traditional long-term-care accommodation and could also include specialized dementia care, convalescent care, and respite and short-term interim bed care.
Aon senior vice-president Tim Harrold said the proposed long-term-care home would be a two-storey structure designed with four self-contained home areas, each with dining areas and lounges. The facility will cost about $13 million to $14 million to build and will create 135 jobs and generate 300,000 labour hours during construction.
"Our preference is to hire locally and work closely with community partners and suppliers," he said.
The township's application to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Central East LHIN stresses the proposed long-term-care home would provide coverage for an underserviced area, support province's home care initiatives and improve ER wait times at both Peterborough Regional Health Centre and Campbellford Memorial Hospital.
The proposal notes there were 950 people on the waiting list for long-term-care beds in the Peterborough region in the first quarter of this year.
"Long-term care is certainly something dear to the hearts of many of us across our community, across the county and across the province," Gerow said.
He stressed the importance of community support, noting the co-operation of John and Gail Richards and Jim and Lorraine Smith, the owners of the land where the facility will be constructed.
He also praised municipal staff, including new CAO Linda Reed, and the Havelock Ministerial Association, for their input and help planning the project and preparing the proposal.
"We've done our homework; that's the most important part of this whole thing," he told reporters. "We've collected the data and the background information to be successful. And we've listened to the LHIN and what they are saying. And we've listened to the health minister. We met with her last February and presented her with the idea. And beyond that, in the real world everybody knows the need, and this community has never put forward an application for this sort of facility."
Gerow said the Ministry of Health does have an allocation of long-term care beds available. "We're just asking to pick those beds up and get this project off the ground."
Gerow said it would take about a year to construct the facility and make it operational.
"We're ready to start in early September; we're ready to put the shovels in the ground and begin the process."