Cassellholme secures stay with approval of reorganization of Ministry of Long-Term Care

“We don’t care how deep the snow is. We are looking forward to putting these shovels in the ground soon.

While at the end of last week the Cassellholme redevelopment was considered to be on life support, the project will apparently live to see another day.

As late as Monday morning, the chairman of the board of directors of Cassellholme, the board. Chris Mayne had no idea how the day would go, but kept an eye on his email inbox in hopes that a last minute reprieve would come for the controversial $ 122 million redevelopment. local public long-term care facility.

Around noon, years of work on the Cassellholme case paid off as Mayne shared the deal with his selected contractor, Percon Construction Ltd., gained approval from Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips to proceed.

“All weekend I could just see him going south, and then what would we do?” a relieved Mayne told BayToday. “We are delighted to receive this letter from the Ministry of Long-Term Care approving construction to move forward. This is a huge relief for everyone involved in the redevelopment.

A board meeting was called Monday afternoon to share the news “and finally get things done in detail. We don’t care how deep the snow is. We can’t wait to put these shovels in the ground. before the end of this year. “

Ministry approval was needed to meet the deadline with Percon to keep costs at current levels. Failure to do so could have meant starting from scratch. The board asked the contractor to hold the construction price until the end of September, but that added an additional $ 2.7 million to the overall cost. Percon then agreed to extend the deadline until November 30.

Politics between Cassellholme and a group of mayors from eight of the nine participating municipalities stalled progress throughout the summer and fall.

See linked: Mayor of Cassellholme: “The guarantee was only one of many concerns”

“We offered to meet with the municipalities,” Mayne told BayToday, “but they all refused.”

See also: Eight of nine municipal partners call on government to deny Cassellholme redevelopment until concerns are resolved

And: Calvin Township taxpayers want to leave Cassellholme and have signatures to show it

Cassellholme needs the unanimous agreement of the nine municipalities to borrow money, leaving the board of directors with no choice but to withdraw.

“We look forward to moving forward with the levy in the next four days. We’re on the wire right now,” Mayne says.

“As municipalities turn their backs on just about everything Cassellholme has offered and to which Cassellholme has responded, without further pressure from the province to resolve the redevelopment, municipalities will continue to block any progress or discussion until that the current proposal is no longer in hand, “he added.

See also: Lack of North Bay Council support pushes Cassellholme redevelopment to the brink

And: Letter to editor: advisers should pay ultimate political price for Cassellholme fiasco

The ministry’s approval is a big step forward for the redevelopment, but the celebration could be short-lived. It is expected that the project will soon be challenged by some municipalities in court.

With files from Jeff Turl

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