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Dreams come true for a community that works together

At a recent committee of the whole meeting of Prince Edward County council, one of the of the items on the agenda was a proposal by Hospice Prince Edward to open a residential hospice at Benson Hall located on King Street in Picton. Hospice board president Birgit Langwisch and executive director Nancy Parks addressed the councillors about the need for a residential hospice. With the aid of their well-prepared presentation, Langwisch and Parks were able to convince all but two councillors to endorse this initial plan.
Hospice was instructed to prepare an operational business plan and at the same time the municipal staff were instructed to prepare a report detailing what effect the proposal would have on the municipality.
Ameliasburgh councillor Dianne O’Brien, in casting her dissenting vote, stated that the financial responsibility for supporting a hospice should fall on the province not on the municipality .
As a point of interest, if you click on you will see that the municipality already supports health care in this community. This point however appears to be a non issue as executive director Nancy Parks says that Hospice Prince Edward is not asking for tax base money to support, refurbish or operate this hospice .
Hospice has asked the municipality to rent them Benson Hall for $1 a year for 25 years. In return, Hospice would retrofit the historic Benson Hall (remember the wanton destruction of the historic Methodist church on Main St. in Picton) at an estimated cost of $350,000 to $500,000. The municipality would be responsible for the maintenance of the exterior and the grounds. Barry Braun has said that the municipality receives very little rent income and the cost to run Benson Hall is $10,500.
While I appreciate Councillor O’Brien’s effort to monitor how our tax dollars are spent, my observation is that Hospice Prince Edward’s staff, board of directors, volunteers and friends are a group of hard working, conscientious and caring individuals who can make this dream of the first residential hospice in Prince Edward County happen.

Six years ago three women got together at a party in Warkworth and started talking about their wish for a residential hospice in their community. In the spring of 2012 their community-based three bed hospice will open. You see, in a community that works together, dreams do come true.


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About the Author: Fran Renoy has lived in the County for forty years so considers herself almost a native. Both she and her husband Bill consider themselves very fortunate to live in beautiful Prince Edward County. She worked at PECM hospital for thirty years as a x-ray technologist,retiring in 1998.She has a very strong passion for her local hospital and encourages others to speak up and not be afraid to do so if they feel that services are being eroded.

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