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$2.3 million raised for new Carman PCH

Emily Distefano

Boyne Care Holdings consultant Gordon Daman and members Linda MacNair, Les Vanderveen, Kelvin Smith, Brent VanKoughnet, Carman Mayor Bob Mitchell and Tyler King were all at the community meeting in Carman on Nov. 23. (EMILY DISTEFANO)

Boyne Care Holdings consultant Gordon Daman and members Linda MacNair, Les Vanderveen, Kelvin Smith, Brent VanKoughnet, Carman Mayor Bob Mitchell and Tyler King were all at the community meeting in Carman on Nov. 23. (EMILY DISTEFANO)

The new PCH project in Carman has raised $2.3 million from community donors so far.

Boyne Care Holdings Inc. updated the public on its progress during a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 23 at the Carman Community Hall.

BCH, which is formed by the Town of Carman and the RMs of Dufferin, Roland, Grey and Thompson, is responsible for the project meant to replace the Boyne Lodge with an updated, 80-bed personal care home.

The corporation's project proposal gained conditional approval from the provincial government in September.

Now, the group is working on two main items: a detailed project design and the community fundraising needed to show the province that the project has the financial support it needs to move forward.

Getting the funds in place

Although $2.3 million has been raised so far, BCH needs to reach at least $3.5 million for the project to have any chance of breaking ground.

There have already been some notable donations to the project, including a substantial bequest from the late George and Mary Stevenson.

But BCH member Brent VanKoughnet said during the meeting that $3.5 million is the minimum required, so the group has to raise at least $1.2 million more over the next few months.

VanKoughnet also noted that if the community ends up donating more, the extra funds will only benefit the project moving forward - proving even greater community commitment and giving the project a greater financial standing.   

In addition to community fundraising, BCH's five member municipalities have committed to contributing a total of $3.5 million.

Mayor Bob Mitchell said the Town of Carman has decided to raise its share through general taxation. The RM of Dufferin has decided on a $100 tax per residence per year for the next 15 years to pay for its portion.

The Province of Manitoba has committed to $10.6 million in capital funding, but only once the project gains final approval.

Design plans

BCH plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) in December, formally starting the design process.

BCH Steering Committee Chair Kelvin Smith said he expects a completed design sometime in the spring.

Smith said the group has been looking at a lot of research on the best design practices for personal care homes, in an effort to build a facility that minimizes things like falls, injuries, and anxiety and maximizes dignity for residents.

He noted that they are going with a small home design - as opposed to the institutional look of the Boyne Lodge - and they will be looking for an architect with an understanding of this approach.

Boyne Care Holdings is hoping to be able to provide the province with comprehensive design and financial information by next year, with final provincial approval expected in the summer or fall of 2018 and construction starting soon afterwards.

More meetings for member municipalities

Boyne Care Holdings has scheduled public meetings in the other participating communities throughout the beginning of December.

The group will be at the Roland Memorial Hall on Dec. 4; Miami Community Hall on Dec. 6; St. Claude Community Hall on Dec. 12; and Elm Creek community Hall on Dec. 13.

All meetings start at 7:00 p.m.

For more information about the project, visit www.boynecare.ca.

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edistefano@postmedia.com