Mil­lion-dol­lar re­quest may be too much

Vision (Canada) - - Actualités • News - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

Sté­phane Pa­ri­sien, di­rec­teur gé­né­ral des CUPR, an­nonce aux maires sur le conseil qu’il n’ai­me­ront pas les chiffres du bud­get 2017. Le maire de Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land, Guy Des­jar­dins qui porte aus­si le cha­peau de pré­sident des CUPR, dois faire face au dé­fi d’équi­li­brer le far­deau de la taxe pour les ré­si­dents de Pres­cott-Rus­sell et une de­mande de fi­nan­ce­ment de sa propre com­mu­nau­té pour le Centre d’ac­cueil Ro­ger Sé­guin. La ré­ponse à la de­mande ad­di­tion­nelle de fi­nan­ce­ment pour le Centre pour­rait être non. The ans­wer may be “No” about the chances of an in­crease from the coun­ties to sub­si­dy fun­ding in the bud­get for a se­niors home in the Ci­ty of Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land.

Even War­den Guy Des­jar­dins, who is al­so the mayor for Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land, is not too op­ti­mis­tic about the chances of Le Centre d’ac­cueil de Ro­ger Sé­guin seeing any ad­di­tion to the $500,000 al­lo­ca­tion plan­ned in the cur­rent draft of the 2017 coun­ties bud­get, which still needs ap­pro­val. The centre re­cei­ved a si­mi­lar sup­port al­lo­ca­tion in the 2016 bud­get.

“Five hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars is al­rea­dy a lot of mo­ney,” Des­jar­dins said du­ring an in­ter­view du­ring a break in the Sept. 28 ses­sion of coun­ties coun­cil. “The bud­get’s not pas­sed. If I can, I may get a few dol­lars more. But I want to see the bud­get first.”

Des­jar­dins no­ted that both he and other mayors on coun­ties coun­cil have to consi­der the bur­den on tax­payers with any ex­tra in­creases to the cur­rent draft bud­get.

Le Centre d’ac­cueil de Ro­ger Sé­guin is a se­nior re­ti­re­ment fa­ci­li­ty lo­ca­ted in Cla­rence Creek, which in­cludes se­nior clients ori­gi­nal­ly from the Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land area and al­so from other parts of Pres­cott-Rus­sell. The non-pro­fit group which ope­rates the centre is trying to build up a spe­cial re­serve fund to help pay for fu­ture re­no­va­tion or re­cons­truc­tion of the buil­ding to bring it up to the new com­pliance stan­dards set by the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment for re­ti­re­ment and long-term care fa­ci­li­ties.

The centre pre­sen­ted two let­ters in the Sept. 28 agen­da pa­ckage for the Uni­ted Coun­ties of Pres­cott-Rus­sell (UCPR). The first was a thank-you for the $500,000 in the 2016 bud­get. The se­cond was a re­quest for an in­crease in the al­lo­ca­tion to $1 mil­lion for next year. The centre has re­cei­ved aid in the past from the UCPR for im­pro­ve­ment to the fa­ci­li­ties, in­clu­ding re­pla­ce­ment of the roof.

Haw­kes­bu­ry Mayor Jeanne Char­le­bois ex­pres­sed sup­port for in­crea­sing the centre’s al­lo­ca­tion as part of the coun­ties’ so­cial ser­vice res­pon­si­bi­li­ty to se­nior re­si­dents in Pres­cott-Rus­sell re­gion. But UCPR Chief Ad­mi­nis­tra­tor Sté­phane Pa­ri­sien ex­pres­sed doubt whe­ther that might be pos­sible as part of the cur­rent 2017 bud­get pro­cess.

“The bud­get is (al­most) fi­na­li­zed, it may need a lit­tle twea­king,” Pa­ri­sien told the mayors, ad­ding that his staff are al­most rea­dy to present the fi­nal draft re­port, in­clu­ding the pro­po­sed 2017 tax rate. “I’ll come back with a num­ber you’re not going to like. It is the pre­li­mi­na­ry bud­get, though, it’s not a done deal.”

“The 2017 bud­get has $500,000 (for the centre)?” said Mayor Char­le­bois. “So then, I have my pro­po­sal on the table.”

Pa­ri­sien said some fur­ther work on the bud­get draft is pos­sible but he ex­pres­sed doubt about the chance of pro­vi­ding Le Centre Ro­ger Sé­guin with a $1 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion for next year. Mayor Ga­ry Bar­ton of Cham­plain Town­ship sug­ges­ted that coun­ties coun­cil should de­cide soon whe­ther or not to sup­port or re­fuse the al­lo­ca­tion in­crease re­quest du­ring the cur­rent 2017 bud­get re­view.

“We’re not going to like the num­bers he (Pa­ri­sien) is going to give us,” said Bar­ton, “so maybe we’d bet­ter bite the bul­let right now.”

“The 2017 bud­get has $500,000 (for the centre)?” said Mayor Char­le­bois. “So then, I have my pro­po­sal on the table.”

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