More delays for Havelock long-term care home

·3 min read

HAVELOCK — MPP Dave Smith and other politicians were on the site of the proposed long-awaited 128-bed long-term care home (LTC) in Havelock Tuesday to announce that tendering of the project, which has been in the making for 11 years, will now be turned over to Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township from the province.

The home, which was originally going to be built by AON Inc. of Peterborough, will now be retendered with the township seeking proponents who are interested in developing and operating the facility.

In March, Smith told council the province was forced to cancel the development agreement with AON, triggering a new search for a developer.

Typically, those wishing to operate long-term care homes submit applications through the call-for-applications process, said a release issued at the announcement event.

“In this case, working with Havelock, the ministry is allocating the 128 beds prior to the town identifying a licensee,” it stated. “Once the town selects an operator for the proposed home, the ministry will review the project in the same manner as all other applications.”

Township staff will be working with the ministry to prepare a request for proposals for the development.

The Havelock LTC home is part of the province’s $6.4 billion commitment to build more than 30,000 net new LTC beds by 2028.

Smith was joined by members of Havelock council, county Warden J. Murray Jones and Paul Calandra, minister of long-term care.

“In a perfect world. Everything is awarded during this construction season, and we can start construction on it before winter,” said Smith. “The people of Havelock have waited far too long for a long-term care centre.”

“This is huge for the community,” said Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Mayor Jim Martin. “We have a huge number of people in this area who were looking forward to this and it didn’t happen. This is a breath of fresh air. We don’t want to stop. Let’s keep this thing rolling. The province has come through so we’re not going to let it stop again.”

Ron Gerow, a former mayor of the township who worked for a long time to get an LTC home in Havelock, said at the announcement even that he is concerned about further delays due to ministry red tape.

“Such projects like this require a lot of commitment from the ministry,” he said and he hoped provincial employees will be able to streamline the process so it will not be drawn out over a longer period of time.

Calandra said the funding has already been allocated.

“They (the township) are the drivers. The township will have control and will turn it around very quickly. We should get shovels in the ground as soon as possible,” he said”

Kathy Clement moved her 91-year-old mother, who has Parkinson’s disease, into a care home in Warkworth two weeks ago — a 30-minute drive each way from Clement’s home in Havelock.

Her mother had been living in the building next to the proposed LTC site, and Clement had expected her mother to be able to just move next door when the time came — only four blocks away from where Clement lives.

“Moving her next door would have been amazing,” she told The Examiner following the announcement. “My frustrations have doubled.”

“I don’t necessarily blame council. AON, who was the previous developer — I can’t believe that fell through,” said Clement, who has a background in construction.

“I have an awful feeling it will be up to three years before it’s completed.”

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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