Reno that forced evictions at St. Mary's Villa on hold
Health region says it's short on money for the Humboldt seniors' care home
An urgently needed renovation that led to sudden evictions from a seniors' home in Humboldt is on hold indefinitely.
Two years ago the health region discovered the floor in the Dust Wing of St. Mary's Villa was rotting. Ten seniors were given only days to find another place to live, causing an uproar.
Now the region says it only has a third of the money it needs to fix the floor and bring the wing up to current standards. The project would cost $4.8 million, and involve moving walls, said Nilesh Kavia, Vice-President of Finance with the Saskatoon Health Region.
"The rooms would have more space to allow for better mobility and better safety, and allow for some of the ceiling lifts and those types of things that would be required," said Kavia.
More discussion in fall
Last year the Ministry of Health gave the region $1.6 million, nearly enough to cover basic repairs to the Dust Wing.
However, the region chose the more expensive option that includes upgrades.
Now it's taking a second look at its plan, with further consideration expected in the fall. Managers are thinking through where money for long-term care is best spent across the region, Kavia explained.
The news is disappointing some people in Humboldt, including Linda Gertken.
"Our health care system is stretched but it's unfortunate that the most needy are the ones that suffer," Gertken said.
Location of carbon monoxide leak
Coincidentally, the Dust Wing is also where a fatal carbon monoxide leak happened, on Dec. 26 2010.
An inquest found it led to one man's death, while its connection to another death remained uncertain.
Following the leak, which also made more than 30 other people sick, the region swiftly replaced the boilers and ventilation system and installed carbon monoxide detectors.