County approves up to $104K to new Beaverlodge health complex

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The County of Grande Prairie voted to contribute up to $104,000 Monday toward the first stage of a new Beaverlodge health complex.

The project is currently seeking a P3 partner to supply capital and expertise.

Consultancy commenced in April 2020 and will continue through to this fall, said Jeff Johnston, Beaverlodge chief administrative officer (CAO).

Costs of that component are expected to be approximately $208,000, according to county administration.

The county’s contribution will go toward that; Beaverlodge will supply the remaining $104,000, said Johnston.

“This is very important to the west county and even to the county as a whole, because of the amount of emergency room access given to the whole region,” county Coun. Bob Marshall said during Monday’s meeting.

“It’s a very worthy project and much needed for the west county,” reeve Leanne Beaupre added.

“We’ve been advocating for it for as long as I’ve been on council.”

“The relationship with the county, particularly on this project, is integral to the success of realizing a new health complex,” Johnston told Town & Country News.

The Town of Beaverlodge established the Mountview Health Complex Committee (MHCC) last spring to pursue hospital replacement utilizing private funds through the company P3 Capital Partners.

The health complex would be built on the 22 acres donated to the town by the McFarlane family approximately a decade ago.

Once complete, the facility would be leased to Alberta Health Services.

Beaverlodge mayor Gary Rycroft is an MHCC member along with town councillors Gena Jones and Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus.

The county appointed two councillors to MHCC, Peter Harris and Bob Marshall.

The town issued a RFP titled “Mountview Health Care Campus” to the provincial online resource Alberta Purchasing Connection in January.

The RFP is open until March 15. According to county administration, the RFP requests an operator or capital partner to contribute capital and expertise.

The private partner would complete a business plan, determine a schedule for to the project and create a plan for operations, according to administration.

Depending on the proposal, the developer may then “operate” the building in carrying out maintenance while AHS leases, or Alberta Health may maintain the building, Rycroft told the News in January.

Coun. Marshall’s motion to provide half of the consultant costs up to $104,000 from the municipal infrastructure reserve was carried unanimously.

After fall 2021 he said the partner and MHCC will move forward with a design. If a partner isn’t found as a result of the RFP, Johnston said the project will be reviewed.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News