The City of North Bay has signed on to financing the Cassellholme redevelopment project.
After a special in-camera meeting Wednesday (Dec. 8) evening, Council unanimously approved a motion to support the board of the long-term care home borrowing the money needed for the nearly $122-million project.
Councillor Dave Mendicino, Cassellholme’s newest board member, authored the motion.
“What we have in front of us is something that I feel helps move the project forward. This facilitates all of the municipalities coming together. This allows the project to move forward with financing and it gives city staff direction to start discussions with Cassellholme about transitioning to a municipal home,” he says.
Councillor Chris Mayne, who is also the board chair of Cassellholme, supported the motion.
“It’s appropriate as we’re the 80 percent funding municipal partner, we are the first municipality to bring forward support allowing Cassellholme to borrow through Infrastructure Ontario which has always been the preferred financing option,” he says. “I will tip my hat to Mayor McDonald for this. I know he is still working with the other municipalities, but it sounds like they are receptive to moving forward as well. We’re hoping that in the next week or two all nine municipalities will approve Cassellholme’s ability to borrow because that is the only circumstance that we can borrow through Infrastructure Ontario.”
Tanya Vrebosch, Deputy Mayor, says a lot of work was done by the Mayor, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer to get to this point, and the motion shows the intent the city has always had is to move forward with the project.
She also says the motion doesn’t touch on the levy, but the city already received an invoice for early next month.
“I would hope that when Cassellholme receives this motion, and we do have members of Council sitting on Cassellholme at the table, it does not say the levy in there, but I hope that they will stop the levy, pause the levy, do what they have to do so that the impact (on the city budget) doesn’t hit us if the outlying municipalities aren’t able to move fast enough in time fo the January 10th invoice date.“
In October, Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing, announced the province is guaranteeing its share of the project, up to $65 million.
Cassellholme officials say the project will result in a state-of-the-art long-term care home with an increase in bed count from 240 to 264.