The St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation was the first delegation of 2019 to a Regular Council meeting on January 22. They requested Council’s commitment to support the Valley Manor redevelopment project. This involves building a new Manor on the site of the former Sherwood School building, which will be demolished. (See artist rendering above. Image: Hobin Architects) Foundation Executive Director, Toni Lavigne-Conway, together with Foundation Board members John Hildebrandt and Brent Dalgleish, and Valley Manor Board President Kathryn Marion, said the project would ensure that Valley residents continue to have access to a nearby long term care facility.
The demographic of Manor residents has changed markedly since it was opened in 1978. Then it was a 90-bed facility where only one resident needed mobility assistance. Now it is a 96-bed facility where just three residents are capable of walking unaided. As a result, the existing facility no longer fully meets residents’ needs. As well, there is an urgent need to redevelop so that Valley Manor conforms to the new provincial standards before the existing licences expire in 2025. Failure to do so creates the risk that the Ministry would award those licences elsewhere in the catchment area.
Plans to redevelop Valley Manor have been in the works since 2009, under the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s (MOHLTC) Renewal Strategy Program. When the 2015 Enhanced Renewal Strategy was announced by the Ministry, Valley Manor was in a position to move forward on both design and financing. Primary sources of funding include:
- Existing equity (the present Manor is now debt-free)
- MOHLTC one-time planning grant
- Potential County subsidies
- Community fundraising
- Per diem funding from MOHLTC ($760,000 annually, totalling $18.9 million over the next 25 years)
- Construction loan
Further delays will only add to the total, as construction costs are expected to increase every year and the Manor presently spends funds on upkeep of the aging building – funds that could be used for redevelopment.
What the Manor brings to the Valley
Valley Manor is the largest employer in the Township with 140 staff members. In addition to Manor staff, secondary jobs are created locally to support spending by staff and visitors. The Manor has a significant impact on the local economy injecting over $6 million yearly through its expenses, broken down as follows:
- 80 percent — $435,000 wages per month
- 13 percent — supplies
- 7 percent — facility costs
The delegation told Council that large organizations like Valley Manor are an economic engine helping our communities to prosper and grow.
The new Valley Manor
Siting the new long term care home next to St. Francis Memorial Hospital contributes to the local vision for a community healthcare hub. Designs for the new Valley Manor include a fireside lounge, a dining room that allows for a single sitting at each meal, an enclosed courtyard and increased privacy for residents. Even in basic rooms, every resident will have their own window. The delegation showed Council a brief video highlighting what Valley Manor residents thought about the redevelopment. Click BELOW to view:
Video: St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation
Foundation seeks financial support from MV
The $27 million redevelopment project includes a budget for community funding. Lavigne-Conway said the Foundation was advised to work towards a community campaign goal of $350,000 to $500,000. She asked that members of Council continue to be ambassadors for healthcare in the Valley and reminded them that the municipality had previously committed $10,000 per year over five years to an earlier healthcare campaign. Dalgleish said that the Foundation was now asking Council for support of $10,000 annually for the next three years to help with the Manor redevelopment project. He said the Board had calculated this financial request on a per-household basis using the total of 2,169 households in MV. If just one cent per day was levied against each household, those pennies would add up to $30,000 at the end of the three year commitment.
In discussing the request, Mayor Love said the previous Council had already shown commitment to the project by securing the former Sherwood School site for the Manor redevelopment project. She pointed out that Valley Manor is a not-for-profit organization, relying heavily on volunteers. Each member of Council in turn expressed support for the project. Council passed a resolution to bring the request for funding forward for consideration at budget time.