United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) council has approved a resolution outlining the terms of providing $12.5 million to assist a proposed redevelopment project at the Centre d’accueil Roger-Séguin (CARS) long-term care facility in Clarence Creek.

The UCPR owned and operated Prescott and Russell Residence is located in Hawkesbury, but many people from communities in the Russell County area in the west choose the not-for-profit CARS because it is closer for them.

The resolution approved by council on June 23 states the UCPR will provide $500,000 each year for 25 years to CARS, but the facility must obtain a financing guarantee from Infrastructure Ontario to ensure the remaining $11.7 million cost of the project is covered.

Other conditions in the resolution state that CARS must enter into a redevelopment agreement with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and that the terms and conditions of the UCPR support be clearly outlined in the final funding agreement. That agreement must also include clauses giving future UCPR councils the right to withdraw the funding commitment if they deem it necessary, that the financing be strictly limited to $500,000 per year for 25 years with no other contributions related to the CARS redevelopment, and that the UCPR will not act as a guarantor of the Infrastructure Ontario loan. The resolution also requests the agreement be reviewed by UCPR legal counsel.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Stéphane Parisien said the resolution was drafted to meet criteria set by council for assisting the CARS redevelopment project. The eight UCPR mayors had discussed financial assistance for CARS during the past two months before reaching a consensus on the content of the resolution.

Mayors of municipalities in the western part of the UCPR, including Guy Desjardins of Clarence-Rockland, Daniel Lafleur of Casselman, and François St-Amour of La Nation have expressed past support for the UCPR contributing financially to the Roger-Séguin redevelopment.

“The resolution addresses exactly what we discussed,” said UCPR Treasurer Valérie Parisien.

Champlain Township Mayor Normand Riopel asked if registered vote was possible. CAO Parisien said a registered vote was unnecessary on a resolution, unlike with by-laws. CAO Parisien told Riopel CARS was comfortable with the terms that had been established in the resolution.

“Infrastructure Ontario knows our intentions,” CAO Parisien added.

“I’m not against the project,” Riopel emphasized, adding he wants to protect CARS in the financing agreement.

The mayors unanimously voted to adopt the resolution.