Concerns with Health Unit vacating Renfrew County Place

Concerns with Health Unit vacating Renfrew County Place

Pembroke – There was some concern at Renfrew County council about the decision by the Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU) and the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) to vacate their leases at Renfrew County Place.

Of particular concern was ensuring the health unit will still have a presence in Renfrew where it services residents in the surrounding area.

Warden Debbie Robinson clarified while it was not the intent for the county to insert themselves into the business of the health unit, this is a service which people depend on.

“It is the services that we have information on,” she said. “Whether their issue is rent that is one thing.”

Having the service is a priority, she said.

Mayor Michael Donohue of Admaston/Bromley began the discussion, questioning if there was something behind the two vacancies coming in Renfrew and said it was important to look into it to ensure the county is a competitive landlord.

“Given there are two tenants with the intention of vacating the premises, has there been a record of conversations of dissatisfaction with the tenancy of either one of these tenants?” he asked.

He questioned if the rental rates needed to be looked at.

“Does the County of Renfrew continue to have competitive market rates, lease spaces for the town of Renfrew?”

Warden Robinson said she knew staff have met with the CFDC and were aware of the challenges that organization is facing.

Development and Property Manager Jason Davis said the county reached out to the health unit when they received notice of the intent to vacate

“We have yet to receive correspondence back with reasoning why they are leaving us,” he said.

The CFDC is looking at how it is providing their services, he explained.

The county will be looking at rental rates when they look at offering the space, he said.

Warden Robinson asked the members of county council who are on the Board of Health if there was any information they could share.

Reeve Peter Emon of Renfrew said he did not have any other information.

“There was a plan to find an alternative site in the Renfrew area,” he said.

He will be following up on what is happening, he promised. There had been a concern there was not a plan going forward, he said.

Mayor Donohue said this was discussed at the Health Committee where he serves as chair and the recommendation was for a letter to go forward from the warden. The Renfrew office services a geographic area in the southern part of the county, he noted.

In his own municipal council, there was also a concern and he sent a letter, he said.

“To ensure the level of service would be there that we have come to expect in that part of the County of Renfrew,” he said.

That just happened the previous week and he has not received a reply, he said.

According to information from the Development and Property Department the RCDHU intends to vacate at the end of the current lease term which is the last day of June 2023. CFDC’s current lease expires on January 31, 2023. CFDC has requested to continue with a month-to-month agreement for the months of February and March of 2023, as stipulated in section 6.1 of their current lease agreement, with a move out date of April 1, 2023.

The report also noted staff will review the financial implications and consider alternative solutions to fill the vacancies.

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader