BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF –
At the Grey County Council meeting May 10, a motion to reconsider the county's previously resolved long term care (LTC) decision to sell the Grey Gables facility in Markdale and build a new upgraded facility in Durham was defeated in a weighted vote by a margin of 52-38, disappointing many local residents in attendance.
The motion was presented following a recent report tabled by Grey County Director of Long Term Care Lynne Johnson on April 26, penned by LTC consultants Sienna Living, that showed a less ambitious expansion of Rockwood Terrace to a 128-bed Class B facility could result in significant savings over the original estimate. The report came at the request to exam the levy impact of reducing the new build from a previously projected 166-bed facility.
The motion brought forward by Georgian Bluffs Deputy Mayor Dwight Burley would have removed the amalgamation wording from the original resolution 31-17, as well as the directive to sell Grey Gables which would have resulted in further discussion of the County's LTC plan and a new course of action that could possibly consider other options including keeping the status quo in Grey Highlands.
According to Johnson’s report, the alternate 128-bed plan for Rockwood Terrace would save the County over $11,000 per bed. Hopes were high among Grey Gables supporters that Grey County Council would at least reopen the issue for further review given the Sienna Living report and open the door to keeping Grey Gables under County control.
“Sienna found that a 128 bed home would reduce the levy burden by $1.13 million per year. This is a better savings than the current plan and leaves us with three homes,” said Grey County resident Darrin Patey. Frustrated with the defeated motion to amend resolution 31-17, Patey mused, “So I wonder what the County Council’s next idea is; the province won’t pass your current plan, yet you all turn down a great alternative.”
Residents opposed to the sale of Grey Gables vow to continue the fight against privatization of the Markdale facility. There has been no shortage of twists in the year since the resolution 31-17 was passed.
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