Carbonear-harbour Grace district fairs well in budget
Big bucks going into health care, education infrastructure
Last week’s provincial budget included some significant dollars for health care and education infrastructure in the CarbonearHarbour Grace District.
Some $23 million from Budget 2012 has been earmarked for continued work on the new long-term care facility currently under construction next to the Carbonear General Hospital.
A $73.7-million contract for construction of the main building was awarded in February to Ellisdon Corporation Ltd. The total project is valued at $108 million.
The 18,500 square metre, four story, 250bed long-term care facility will have space for recreation therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and worship. It is expected to be ready for its first residents in late 2014 or early 2015.
Carbonear was one of five long-term care infrastructure projects singled out in Budget 2012, which are part of an overall health care infrastructure investment of $81.1 million. That’s included in the province’s overall $230.5 million investment in health care infrastructure.
The provincial government is also spending $319,000 to enhance dialysis services at the Carbonear General Hospital.
Health Minister Susan Sullivan said residents have identified dialysis enhancements as a priority for government throughout the province.
Some $8.8 million was announced in the budget to continue work on the new elementary school being built to replace the aging Davis Elementary in Carbonear.
Officials of Eastern School District expect the school will cost close to $20 million by the time it is completed and ready for occupancy next year.
Last fall, Marco Services Ltd. of St. John’s was awarded the main contract, valued at close to $15.7 million to construct the school building.
Construction of the 5,140 square metre school is expected to be completed by the end of February 2013. Designed to accommodate 450 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8, the building will have 19 classrooms, two special services rooms, a challenging needs room, gymnasium and fitness area with change rooms and a cafeteria.
Adult addictions centre
Government is spending a total of $15.5 million on the development of the adult addictions treatment centre in Harbour Grace, as well as youth addictions treatment centres in Paradise and Grand Falls-windsor.
The Harbour Grace centre is being developed at the SPLASH Centre, which originally served as St. Paul’s School.
Break for seniors
The budget allocated $3.7 million to provide seniors aged 65 and over, a 35 per cent reduction on driver’s licence and vehicle registration fees, and other licences and fees for such things as hunting, fishing, cutting wood and camping. The move complements the goals of the provincial healthy aging policy framework, which aims to recognize older persons, celebrate diversity, support com- munities, encourage health and financial well-being, and support employment, education and research. Fee reductions for seniors will include: • vehicle registration fees reduced from $126 to $82 for online processing and $140 to $91 for in-person processing
• driver’s licence fee reduced from $100 to $65
• big game licences (moose and caribou) cut from $40 to $26
• black bear licences chopped from $27 to $17.55
• Salmon Angling licences reduced from $17 to $11.05
• serviced campsite monthly fees reduced from $565 to $367.25. There will also be a reduction in nightly and weekly camping fees, as well as in vehicle entry fees at provincial parks.
Work is ongoing at the site of a new long term care facility in Carbonear.