Fundraising deadline nears for Swift Current Long Term Care facility

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Fundraising deadline approaching for Swift Current new Long Term Care facility

The Cypress Health Authority is anxiously awaiting the completion of the push to finalizing funding of the municipal portion of the new Long Term Care facility in Swift Current.

However, Tyler Bragg, the Chairman of the Cypress Regional Health Authority, admits there is some pressure to quickly complete raising the $15.7 million necessary to fund the 20 per cent municipal portion for the approximate $79.7 million project.

"We have to be able to tell the Ministry that we've got the $15.7 million committed by the end of July. We'll have to take the temperature at that point I guess, but we have to make sure that we've got the commitment. I'm confident that we'll get that, but that's the milestone I'm mostly interested in at this point," Bragg said following the Cypress Regional Health Authority's monthly meeting on June 25.

Southwest communities and municipalities are charged with raising 20 per cent of the construction price of the facility, with the province pledging the remaining 80 per cent. Bragg hopes the milestone is reached soon by the City of Swift Current, RM of Swift Current, and other surrounding RMs and centres which would utilize the facility. The payment of these committed funds would be paid when the facility is primarily completed, which is currently expected to be by mid 2016.

"The milestone for me is getting letters from all of those municipalities saying we have $15.7 million raised by the end of July."

working towards funding completion commitments by the end of July, with payment of the funds completed by mid 2016.

The Cypress Health Region is not heading the fundraising request, as they feel it is incumbent on area municipal governments to assist in funding the project, leaving those municipal officials to make the a group decision to decide how the funding formula is decided.

When the Cypress Regional Hospital was built over a decade ago, the City of Swift Current delivered the financial commitment to cover the municipal portion of the project funding, and they then sought out the assistance of surrounding communities and RMs.

Cypress Health Region CEO Beth Vachon noted that they have completed the evaluation of the three proponent design and build submissions, and are currently reviewing the financial details of the project.

"Based on the money that they are proposing this is going to cost, and then the design of the building, then we chose a proponent that is meeting things on sort of two levels," Vachon said.

"So we'll be looking at doing an award probably mid July. We'll know who our proponent is and what team we're going to be working with. Then they will start to go to financial close, which means they get their funding package ready to go and they do their finances and get all of that in order. We're anticipating by the middle of September we'll likely see that group starting to move equipment onto the site and start doing site remediation as soon as this fall," Vachon added.

"This is all contingent on raising $15.7 million, let's make that clear," Bragg quickly commented.

"I don't want there to be any illusion out there. If we don't raise the $15.7 million that it's going to go ahead even though we haven't raised it. Every other community in this province has had to put forth 20 per cent community share for their Long Term Care Facilities, and other facilities. There's no reason to expect that we can't, so we have to raise this $15.7 million.

"I guess the reason I'm being kind of adamant about that is that we don't necessarily have the commitment for $15.7 million yet. So I don't want to go past saying that all this stuff is going to happen, because by the end of July here we're going to have to say yes we've got $15.7 million."

Maple Creek raised over $12 million to pay for the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility, so Bragg is comfortable agreements can be finalized to fund the Swift Current project as well.

Bragg reminded regional officials that the Cypress Health Region has a great opportunity in front of them to address Long Term Healthcare facility issues in the community.

"$64 million of this project is coming from 95 per cent of the residents of the province that don't live in Southwest Saskatchewan. I mean that's such a huge opportunity."

Vachon points out that Health Region officials have met with the three design and build proponent teams on a variety of occasions over the past number of months.

"I think they brought sort of some real nice, fresh, perspective," she said.

"We'd be proud and pleased to work with any of them. They just all just brought it all to the table for us. And any one of those teams we'll be pleased to work with."

Organizations: Cypress Regional Health Authority, Cypress Regional Hospital

Geographic location: Swift Current, Maple Creek, Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility Southwest Saskatchewan

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