Tuesday, July 13, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 28 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I find this a little bit ridiculous. But thats the game we’re playing here.”
- Gordon Lundy, CAO  
- on the need to borrow   
$2.6 million   


Council has agreed to provide $1 million toward the planned expansion and renovation of the York Creek Lodge, a project that was reported in the June 29 issue of the Pass Herald.
This contribution to the overall project, which is estimated to cost from $20 to $25 million, is designed to show the province that the municipality and the community is behind the expansion, which will drastically increase the size, number, and quality of rooms at the Lodge.
Council discussed the matter at their July 6 meeting. While they all agreed on the value of committing funds from the municipality, there was disagreement over how.
One option was to borrow the $1 million and pay it back over ten years, which would amount to an extra $40 per year in taxes on a property worth $300,000.
Councillor Dean Ward suggested a second option, saying that if the construction did not start for a few years, then council would be able to save some of the money beforehand and not need to borrow quite as much. He suggested that the municipality put $100,000 per year away into a special York Creek Lodge reserve, and when construction starts, to borrow the remainder to reach $1 million.
He said that this would work out to the same amount of money spent on the project per year, but would save a little bit on interest because less money overall would be borrowed.
Mayor Irwin said that he did not want council to commit money from next year's budget.
Councillor Ward said that this was a point, but that they would be committing future councils to future spending either way, whether through the saving of $100,000 per year or the spending of $100,000 per year to pay off the loan.
Council voted 4-3, Mayor Irwin and Councillors Mitchell and MacLeod opposed, to enact Councillor Ward's suggestion. The three who were opposed said that they were in favour of committing the money, but were opposed to the method.
A public meeting was held at the York Creek Lodge on Wednesday, July 7, to present the expansion plans and answer any questions. Approximately 80 people attended the meeting.
The primary concern expressed was that if the Lodge expands to add Designated Assisted Living beds, then Alberta Health Services might close down long term care at the hospital. There was concern that this would lessen the impact of the expansion on the community, as a number of the new beds would go to long term care patients.
Pat Lundy and Nestor Chorney, members of the Crowsnest Pass Senior Housing Authority, said that this was a question only the province could answer. Chorney said that their responsibility as a board was to do what was best for the Lodge, which at this point means expanding the outdated building.
Residents were encouraged to speak with their MLA and with the Minister of Health and Wellness about the need to keep long term care in the community and not shut it down when the new Lodge comes online.
Lundy estimated that if all goes according to plan, some work could begin in 2011, with the main construction likely beginning in 2012.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 28 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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