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Friday, December 21, 2018

County to Re-Visit Plan to Sell Grey Gables

Grey County | by Matt Hermiz  

Grey Highlands mayor gives notice of motion to rescind application to sell Markdale facility

Grey County's new council will vote to abandon the controversial long-term care plan to sell off Grey Gables in Markdale and re-allocate beds to a new facility in Durham.

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen gave notice at yesterday's county council meeting he will introduce a motion Jan. 24 to rescind the decision made last term to apply to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to move the 66 beds from Grey Gables and the 100 beds from Rockwood Terrace to a new $38-million home in Durham.

McQueen says a second motion will also come forward at the Jan. 24 meeting to direct the county to apply to the Ministry to increase the number of long-term care beds at a re-developed Rockwood Terrace to at least 160 and a minimum of an additional 30 beds at Grey Gables.

McQueen says adding beds to Rockwood Terrace and Grey Gables will help realize operational cost efficiencies.

The Grey Highlands mayor says the issue of long-term care was a contentious one during the election in many municipalities across Grey County.

"It has been a very talked about issue," McQueen says. "It's something I would say in Grey County that hasn't been this lively for quite a long time. Certainly something that I feel is very important to bring to this new county council right away."

The new Progressive Conservative provincial government promised this fall to create more than 15,000 new long-term care beds in Ontario within five years.

McQueen says in early October the province announced the allocation of 6,000 new beds and the only ones destined for Grey County were 26 beds at a private long-term care facility in Hanover.

"But, there is still another 9,000 beds out there that could be applied for," McQueen states. 

In May, a proposal to add 28 beds to Rockwood Terrace and keep Grey Gables in public hands while reducing costs was defeated by county council.

According to county staff reports, adding 28 beds to current 100-bed facility in Durham could achieve operational cost savings of about $1-million.

McQueen expects with 10 new members at the county council table a decision will be reached to satisfy the communities served by Rockwood Terrace in Durham and Grey Gables in Markdale.

"I am very hopeful we can move forward and get the right mix of what we want here for long-term care," he says. "Not only for today, but for the next 10, 20 years."

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