Area municipalities fail to chip in for the Pineview Terrace Lodge

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Coun. Ted Zurakowski motions to deny the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region’s request for Northern Housing Development Inc. pre-amalgamation trust fund to go toward capital costs related to the Pineview Terrace Lodge -- funds intended to help cover the shortfall that came as a result of area municipalities declining to pay their share. 

The inaction of area municipalities has left the city’s elected officials questioning the future of regional projects.

 

The RM of Buckland, RM of Paddockwood, Village of Albert, Village of St. Louis and Village of Meath Park have failed to pay for their share of the Pineview Terrace Lodge.

“Let’s put their names right out in the public,” Coun. Martin Ring urged at Monday’s city council meeting. “Some of them are very close neighbours of ours that are using our services.”

The Pineview Terrace Lodge is a 60-room long-term care facility that opened earlier this year.

The building is a 26-bed increase over the previous facility -- both located at the Victoria Hospital property in Prince Albert.

The provincial government paid for 80 per cent of the $22.8-million facility and the City of Prince Albert and area municipalities were to fund the 20 per cent balance.

Or, so the city’s elected officials thought.

City coffers have paid their share over the past three years through a residential base tax levy of $27, with commercial property owners paying a higher, variable rate.

The levy will end this year after raising the $2 million it was intended to.

The balance of the city’s $3.3 million contribution came out of the Holy Family Hospital Reserve (also called the Civic Facilities Reserve).

Area municipalities still owe $198,805, including the RM of Buckland ($33,737), the RM of Paddockwood ($94,992), the Village of Albertville ($10,706), the Village of St. Louis (41,948), and the Village of Meath Park ($17,422).

The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region has no leverage in collecting these shortfalls, chairperson Brenda Abrametz told council at Monday’s meeting.

“Traditionally, municipalities have always supported these types of projects … but there is no authority for us to collect that,” she explained.

Traditionally, municipalities have always supported these types of projects … but there is no authority for us to collect that. Brenda Abrametz

“We can only request it and hope that municipalities agree that it is a worthwhile project.”

With area municipalities unwilling to help out with their share of a $4.4 regional contribution, what’s going to happen when the city takes on a much larger project? Coun. Lee Atkinson asked.

A new or renewed Victoria Hospital has been hinted at in recent years, and the city has been actively pursuing a second North Saskatchewan River crossing.

“If a whole bunch (of municipalities) decide not to participate on this scale, how on earth do we anticipate that they’ll ever participate in a scale 100 times more of the cost of this project?” Atkinson asked.

On Monday, the city’s elected officials voted down the health region’s request that $142,354 from the Northern Housing Development Inc. fund (a pre-amalgamation trust fund that dates back to 1973) be spent on covering area municipalities’ funding shortfall.

Coun. Ted Zurakowski cautioned against setting a dangerous precedent, and Coun. Don Cody noted that they’ll need the trust fund to help fund future long-term care facilities.

“I’m more available now than ever to meet with these five municipalities and say we’re partners in our region, and put political pressure on them from us and our councillors to pay their share,” Mayor Greg Dionne said.

“At the end of the day, their residents are benefiting from the facilities in the city of Prince Albert … Whether they’re recreation or health or education, they’re benefiting.”

Organizations: Victoria Hospital, Holy Family Hospital Reserve, Civic Facilities Reserve Northern Housing Development

Geographic location: Paddockwood, Prince Albert, Village of St. Louis Meath Park Village of Albertville North Saskatchewan River

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  • Greg Lanick
    August 12, 2014 - 02:24

    By political pressure, Mayor Dionne. Do you mean bully politics? That is what you do best isn't it?