Eight to 10 acres, one floor, and access to water and sewer are the ideal requirements for the new site for the reconstruction of the Prescott and Russell Residence.
At its council meeting on June 28, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell voted to hire Colliers Project Leaders to find one such site.
In addition to the finding the site, the group will also be in charge of creating an application for a $250,000 planning grant.
New provincial standards mean the residence needs to be rebuilt by 2025. The 146-bed facility has been on Cartier Boulevard in Hawkesbury since 1977.
The funding is part of Construction Funding Subsidy Policy for Long-Term Care Homes, introduce by the province in 2015.
The $250,000 is a one-time planning grant that’s only available for not-for-profit long-term care homes like the P-R Residence.
In addition to the grant, UCPR is also looking to apply to the construction funding subsidy (CFS) also under the policy. The maximum a residence can received through the CFS is $23.03 per bed per day and would only kick in after construction.
During Colliers’ presentation during the meeting, Andrew Rodrigues, the firm’s project manager, mentioned potentially looking at other avenues to generate revenue with the new facility. For example, trading in residence beds for palliative care beds, and adding preferred accommodation rates.
But that work would come with a fee.
Colliers’ current approved mandate is to find a site and complete the application, which will cost the UCPR $35,000.
Municipalities are allowed to submit suggestions for the site; there have already been talks of one in St-Isidore.
But at its meeting concerning the residence in March, United Counties CAO Stéphane Parisien advised council to consider proximity to a hospital, i.e. thinking of keeping the residence in Hawkesbury.
Mayor Dicaire suggested breaking up the residence into multiple smaller sites to better serve the entirety of Prescott-Russell, not just a portion.
Mayor Desjardins quickly rebuked that idea.
“I don’t agree with separating the beds,” he said. “All you’re going to do is add more costs, more administration… It should be out of the question.”
Towards the end of the delegation, Mayor Dicaire and Warden Barton raised the idea of tipping council’s hand when it came to deciding on a site and being up-charged by the landowner.
“That’s always something we face,” said Parisien. “We’re going to try and be as under the radar as we can be.”
“We have to be careful that we don’t say, ‘This is our preferred site’,” said Barton.
“The way I’d like to leave this is we select a site and we acquire it,” said Parisien. “We’ve been talking about this for too long. I think the first step is acquiring the said land to move forward.”