This letter has been sent to Warden Barfoot and Grey County Council.
Unfortunately, the County of Grey has made a decision to close Grey Gables. This decision has so many people in our county upset, that the Past Wardens are now being approached by the 100's of people from Grey County and beyond, to try and have this decision reconsidered in favour of the status quo. The public has questions:
Has the country sought expression of interest to see if there is interest from the private sector to purchase Grey Gables?
If you are building a new facility, what will happen to the existing Rockwood Terrace building?
Why move a facility from the centre of the County, where it already owns approximately 45 acres of land, to a facility in a different community, where it would have to purchase more property?
Why has redevelopment of Rockwood Terrace not been costed as the County did with Lee Manor?
The majority of Past Wardens are very disappointed that the Warden would invite us to a meeting, which we thought was to seek our input, and then totally ignore our opinions, questions, and suggestions. We regret the lack of respect shown us by some members of County Council. To express our disappointment with the decision that Grey County has made, the vast majority of Past Wardens will not attending any Grey County functions until the closure of Grey Gables is reversed.
Some County Councillors tell us we do not have all the information. If there is information that would make this decision sensible, then why not present it to the public? By keeping this veil of secrecy, it only poses more questions.
The LHIN report, dated September 16, 2016, indicates that Durham currently has more beds per 1000 of population over the age of 75 than Markdale. Within a 10km radius, Durham has 175 beds per 1000 and Markdale only 132 beds per 1000. Within a 15km radius it changes to 147 beds for Durham and only 107 beds for Markdale. The County is suggesting moving more beds closer to the Hanover catchment area, which the LHIN report shows there is already an oversupply. It seems strange that the County would reject a report that was conducted by a professional company in the industry, Sienna, and then write its own report internally, which does a complete reversal of what was suggested. We question the cost savings that have been presented.
If the County politicians who support closing Grey Gables, would just listen to the people that elected them to their position, they would find that there is support for renovating Rockwood Terrace and keeping Grey Gables open, even if this causes a slight increase in taxes. This increase would be money well spent! The seniors in Grey County are the most vulnerable sector in this County, and they deserve respect. The long term care homes need to remain strategically located to maintain fairness.
Relocating 66 beds that will not be partially funded by the province does not make sense?
The Past Wardens will be requesting a meeting with the LHIN and the Minister to present the concerns of the residents of Grey County.
Shirley & Gerald Shortt, Meaford