Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Seniors Minister turns sod on Cold Lake Lodge

For the Lakeland Regional.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland, Councillor Chris Vining, Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson Cold Lake Lodge resident Laura Petryshyn, Cold Lake Lodge Manager Leanne Jorgensen, Lakeland Lodge Chair Ray Prevost and Lakeland Lodge CAO Connie Surgeson turn the soil at the new Cold Lake Senior's Lodge, which has just begun construction after a cash injection from the provincial government.
Eric Bowling
 A long awaited seniors' housing development is finally getting constructed after years of red tape.

Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson was in the city to commemorate the groundbreaking of the new Cold Lake Seniors' Lodge on June 30.

The new lodge will feature 61 units, replacing the current 58 unit building. The province had kicked in $8.7 million for the project via the Alberta Social Housing Corporation.

An additional $5.7 million was contributed by both the provincial and the federal government through the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement.

“It's been a long time since there's been a big investment in senior's housing and affordable housing,” said Sigurdson.

“Seniors want to age in their communities. We want to make sure that happens.”

Dignitaries from Cold Lake, Bonnyville and the Lakeland Lodge and Housing Foundation were on hand for the ceremony.

“It's great to see the minister here,” said Bonnyville – Col Lake MLA Scott Cyr. “We're getting a lot of focus on our riding, it's projects like this that are going to keep people working.”

It has been a long time coming. According to foundation board chair Ray Prevost, the plan for the new lodge was bounced around several ministries for almost a decade.

“It's a huge boost,” said Prevost. “After so many ministers and being bounced around from municipal affairs to health to seniors, finally we get the funding we need.”

Several members of city council were in attendance for the groundbreaking. They expressed their relief that the project was finally underway.

“This is just a great day in Cold Lake,” said Coun. Vicky Lefebvre. “Our seniors have been living in some residences that are less than 110-square feet. We've had prisoners living in better conditions than our seniors.”

The new lodge will have suites of 360-square feet, as well as handicap accessible washrooms.

While people were grateful for the province for finally funding the development, everyone involved agreed that the credit for getting the ball rolling belonged to Prevost.

“Ray's been relentless for trying to get this for Cold Lake,” praised Lefebvre.

For his part, Prevost was simply happy that his work had finally born fruit.

“It's so great that the government finally kicked in the money for us,” expressed Prevost. “Now I can retire in peace.”

The lodge is expected to be open by fall of 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment