“It’s full steam ahead,” said Stéphane Parisien, chief administrator for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), on the status of the project.
The UCPR owns and operates the Residence through its social services department. UCPR staff will present a proposal during this month’s committee of the whole session for counties council a plan for launching the pre-qualification process for potential contractors on the project and also a proposal to submit the project design plans to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for review and approval.
“They (ministry) are going to be financing the bulk of the project,” said Parisien. “So they have a say.”
The present projected cost for the new Residence is between $80 million and $85 million. While the financial plan for the project will involve some upfront money from the UCPR, the majority of the cost will be covered through a long-term loan.
The loan may be through Infrastructure Ontario, which assists municipalities with financing of major infrastructure projects at interest rates that are comparable or less than what most banks or other lending institutions offer. The UCPR finance department is reviewing all funding aid options for a final report and recommendation to council later in the year.
Once the pre-qualifying process is done for potential contractors, the UCPR will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contractors to bid on the project. Parisien expects the RFP call will go out this summer.
The timeline for the project calls for start of construction before the end of this year. The goal is to have the new Residence finished and ready for occupancy by autumn of 2022.
The site for the new Residence is on Spence Street in Hawkesbury, adjacent to the Hawkesbury Fire Department station and a few blocks up the street from the Hawkesbury & District General Hospital, and also from the present Residence facility over on Cartier Boulevard. The UCPR and the Town of Hawkesbury have worked out a reduced permitting fee proposal to help with the costs for the project.
“And we do appreciate the co-operation we’ve had from the Town of Hawkesbury,” concluded Parisien.