Lodge receives funding for capital upgrades

It’s the first time in more than 20 years of attending Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association conferences

It’s the first time in more than 20 years of attending Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association conferences, that Councillor Ken MacVicar can remember a provincial government minister showing up with money instead of just promises.

Speaking at a council committee of the whole meeting Monday night, he said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths actually had money for them when he attended the conference last week.

MacVicar added it’s ironic given the number cuts being announced in other areas of provincial responsibility.

Sylvan Lake Lodge Foundation is to receive $177,000 based on the formula of $3,000 for each of its 59 units.

Dale Aasen, executive director of the foundation, said they have a 10 year plan for facility upgrading but the board hasn’t yet had a chance to discuss how to spend this money.

They do have a boiler that has to be done and they started a program last year to replace a few windows a year, starting with the section which was upgraded in 1990. “There are other things we’d like to do as well.”

Each housing management body across the province has been allocated $3,000 for every unit it owns or manages.

Maintenance and improvements of up to 172 seniors’ lodges, cottages and unique homes will benefit as many as 10,000 seniors across the province, through a $30.9 million investment from the government’s Budget 2013, said a news release issued Tuesday.

The one-time capital renewal investment can be used for building repairs, mechanical and plumbing upgrades, fire and safety upgrades and kitchen, dining room and resident room expansions and renovations, once project proposals have been approved.

“These lodges are essential accommodations for seniors who wish to stay close to their families and neighbours as they age, especially those who live in rural Alberta,” said Griffiths. “We are spending our dollars smarter by upgrading these older properties to ensure our seniors have safe, comfortable and affordable places to call home now and in the future.”