Posted on Thursday April 25, 2019 at 11h38
Clarence-Rockland mayor votes “no” on PR Residence beds increase
The new Prescott-Russell Residence will have 224 beds when it is built but the mayor of Clarence-Rockland is not happy about the situation.
“If we’re losing $4 million a year with what we have now,” Mayor Guy Desjardins said during a Wednesday interview, “how much are we going to lose in the future?”
Mayor Desjardins’ question followed after the April 24 session of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell council (UCPR). He was the one mayor among the eight who voted against plans for a 224-bed Prescott-Russell Residence to replace the present 146-bed facility (see photo).
The UCPR received approval from the previous Wynne Liberal provincial government to increase the number of beds available in the new PR Residence when planning and construction begins for the facility. The Ford Progressive Conservative government confirmed the increase approval after health ministry officials reviewed the case again.
Cost to design and construct a 224-bed PR Residence is projected at$75.7 million. That figures includes the UCPR receiving a provincial government construction loan to cover 85 per cent of the building cost.
Mayor Desjardins has long been critical of the UCPR having to include money in its annual budget to cover deficit operating costs for the PR Residence. He indicated that the counties should encourage the private sector to provide more units to handle the growing number of seniors in the Prescott-Russell region who need retirement accommodations.
“I don’t have any problem with bringing more beds (unit) here,” Desjardins said. “Just not to the Prescott-Russell Residence. There are other private nursing homes."