The United Counties of Prescott and Russell’s (UCPR) long-term care facility will soon need a new administrator. 

UCPR council does not normally meet in July, but a special meeting was held on Thursday, July 7 to accept the resignation of Prescott and Russell Residence Administrator Alexandre Gorman. 

In September 2019, Gorman was hired as the administrator of the facility, which is located on Cartier Boulevard in Hawkesbury. He oversaw the institution through the most difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during a severe outbreak in 2020. 

Gorman’s time as administrator has also seen construction begin and near completion on the new Prescott and Russell Residence on Spence Avenue in Hawkesbury. 

In remarks made at the special council meeting, UCPR Chief Administrative Officer Stéphane Parisien thanked Gorman for his work and only said the reasons for Gorman’s resignation are personal. 

The resignation takes effect on July, but UCPR council has appointed Eric Larocque as the Interim Administrator of the Prescott and Russell Residence effective that date. 

What to do with old residence 

At the last regular meeting held on June 22, UCPR council approved proceeding with a feasibility study to examine if the existing Prescott and Russell Residence building in Hawkesbury could be used for affordable housing once the residence relocates to its new facility. There was no discussion among the assembled mayors before approving the study. 

The firm which scored highest in the bidding process to conduct the study is Colliers Project Leaders Inc. – the same company which is managing the construction project for the new residence. The UCPR received six bids for the feasibility study. The cost of the feasibility study with Colliers is $59,970 plus taxes. The UCPR has applied for a grant from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to fund the study, but if the grant application is unsuccessful, funds from the Public Housing Reserve will be used to cover the cost. 

The study will explore three options for the Cartier Boulevard site. Option One will investigate the number of self-contained residential units which may be accommodated in the existing building. Option Two will investigate if the existing building should be demolished and replaced with a new affordable housing complex, while Option Three will examine if the property should be sold with a required estimation of its fair market value. 

A report prepared by Director of Social Services Sylvie Millette explains there are presently more than 1,000 people on the waiting list for public housing in Prescott and Russell counties, amid a lack of affordable housing in the region. 

It is estimated it will take approximately three months to complete the feasibility study.