LITTLE CURRENT – The news was almost all good for the Manitoulin Centennial Manor board at its meeting last week.
“We received a revised draft for our 2021 budget,” board chair Pat MacDonald told members of the board. The budget includes, “the municipality share being left at a two percent increase.” This has been the same rate of increase as has been in place the past few years.
“I think the budget is okay, but I would rather see Gore Bay’s increase down to zero,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne, who acknowledged “yes, I think this (budget increase) is fair.”
“We’d all like to see the municipal shares and the budget be at a zero percent increase, but if that were the case the (Manor) would definitely suffer,” said Ms. MacDonald.
Hugh Moggy said, “we are lucky the increase is only two percent with everything that has happened this year.”
Ms. MacDonald noted that management and staff at the Manor have been under a lot of stress over the past nine months dealing with the pandemic. “We appreciate everything they have done over that time.”
The board passed a motion accepting the 2021 budget.
Chair MacDonald provided some good news for the board, explaining “I haven’t received a letter from them yet, but the Deloitte company has informed us that we will be receiving a $58,000 GST rebate for the nursing home this year.” She pointed out that once other costs are taken off, the Manor should net a benefit of $40,000.
“That’s a nice Christmas gift for the Manor,” stated Chair MacDonald.
“It is good news,” stated board member Hugh Moggy.
Ms. MacDonald provided further good news for the year in terms of operation costs: the Manor is looking at being in a financial surplus operating position of $27,122 for this year.
And, the board received some good news in regards to fundraising efforts.
Board member Wendy Gauthier, who is the Manor fundraising committee chair, told the meeting, “my report is in three parts. From October 1 to today (December 17) we have raised $40,491.75 with more donations coming (Tree of Life campaign). A private donation had also been made of $5,000 that was put into a separate account with a large electric bingo machine of $3,000 bought for the Lodge residents.
Part two of Ms. Gauthier’s report focused on the Manor courtyard renovations. “I have some exciting news that a donor family has come forward and they will provide the funds to complete the courtyard project (which has an estimated target cost of $200,000-250,000),” she told the board. Funds raised through the Tree of Life campaign will go as well to this project.
The board was told that Jennifer Harvey, a landscape architect, has been engaged to provide the designs for the courtyard project and has also offered to oversee the contractor’s implementation of the design. It is likely the project will take place in the spring of 2022.
Ms. Harvey, a professor at Sudbury’s McEwin School of Architecture, also worked on the development of the courtyard at the Espanola Nursing Home. The Manor board passed a motion to hire Ms. Harvey.