Car­bon­ear-har­bour Grace dis­trict fairs well in bud­get

Big bucks go­ing into health care, ed­u­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture

The Compass - - OPINION -

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.

Dial­y­sis

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.

Ed­u­ca­tion

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.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Work is on­go­ing at the site of a new long term care fa­cil­ity in Car­bon­ear.

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