Council denies Hospice funding request

Bridge tender price under budget

A capital grant request from the Stratford Perth Hospice Foundation was denied in a split vote at Council on Tuesday. The Foundation had requested a grant of $300,000 from the Town for a hospice to be constructed at the Tri-County Mennonite Homes property located at Greenwood Court in Stratford. In a report previously presented to Council it was noted that neither Perth nor Huron has a hospice which is a home-like environment where individuals with life-threatening illnesses receive end-of-life care. The plan which was approved by South West Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN), initially would have 6 beds for Perth and 4 for Huron County. They had requested $1.5 million from the City of Stratford, which was approved and the same amount from the County of Perth which was denied. Town CAO Brent Kittmer noted that if the Town approved the grant the Town would not have part ownership nor would the Town necessarily have a member on the Board.  In voting to support the grant, Coun. Bill Osborne said that people ask “should we become involved in healthcare, but we already are involved. Our concept of death has changed and we now emphasize dying with dignity”. Coun. Don Van Galen in voting against said that granting the money was taking over “the responsibilities  of the Province”. He noted that this grant “would be a transfer of funds out of the community” and that the result would be a benefit for Stratford for creating jobs. Coun. Jim Craigmile questioned the amount of money and wondered if people from St. Marys would want to go to Stratford. “People would rather stay at home and we do have palliative care available”. In a recorded vote Couns. Osborne, Pope and Winter voted in favour, while Mayor Strathdee and Couns. Van Galen and Craigmile voted against. Because it was a tie vote the motion to approve the grant was defeated.

The tender for the reconstruction of Wellington Street was officially awarded to McLean-Taylor in the amount of $1,594,825.10 including HST. The total 2017 budget amount was $2,238,000 including construction and engineering. There were a total of three tenders submitted with McLean-Taylor being the lowest. The other bids were from Finnbilt Contracting at $1,818,956 and Maloney & Pepping Construction at $2,019,663.

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