Stalled Mahone Bay nursing home project may still move ahead

by Kevin Mcbain

  • <p>Contributed photo</p><p>A MacLeod Group nursing home currently operating in Mahone Bay.</p>


Mahone Bay town council called a special meeting August 6 to deal with a request from MacLeod Group Health Services Ltd. who have proposed a 96-bed nursing home on Main Street in the town.

The request was to move ahead with the project's next step, a public information meeting, which is scheduled for the end of August. No specific date, time or venue has been selected yet.

Ramsay Duff, CEO for the MacLeod Group and owner of the current nursing home that is more than 50 years old, said they are still awaiting final approval and a formal announcement by the provincial government.

"This is one of the final steps in the process of constructing a replacement for the Mahone Bay Nursing Home. This is very good news for the existing residents and employees of the nursing home, and for the continuation of the social and economic benefits the home brings to the community," he said via email.

Duff said that it has taken time to assemble the required land, revise the design of the building and submit budget information to the provincial Department of Health and Wellness.

Following the meeting, the town and the MacLeod Group hope to begin work on a development agreement. The lots for the proposed building are located on Main Street within the 100 block, going out of town towards Blockhouse.

A presentation was made to Mahone Bay town council in mid-December 2018. At that time the hope was that government approval and an official announcement would have been made in the early part of the year, with construction beginning this past summer. However, Duff says that the process took longer than expected.

Construction will take about two years and cost of the project is estimated to be around $34 million.

Duff encourages people to come out to the public information meeting and hear about the project.

"It is very important to us that we have an opportunity to present the proposed project to the community and receive feedback. As with our previous two open house meetings at the fire hall, we are looking forward to the engagement of a public information meeting," he said.

"We've had a number of revisions since those meetings including location and design, as well as specific add-on benefits for the community."

Headquartered in Antigonish, the MacLeod Group owns and operates nine long-term care nursing homes and five assisted living, community care and retirement living communities.

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