All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Public input wanted on location of new hospital for County

Environmental testing has cleared the way for the County’s current hospital site to be considered, along with a site by the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, as a location for a new hospital. This month, part of the next stage is for the public to have input on the new hospital’s location.

“The soil and water testing on the current PECMH site, completed in April, shows nothing to preclude considering the existing site,” said Bill Andrews, QHC’s Director of Capital Projects, at a media briefing on the PECMH redevelopment Monday afternoon.

Environmental testing was done on the existing hospital site after a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change order was drafted in February regarding contaminants on the nearby 10 McFarland Drive property (location of the former Proctor-Silex housewares plant).

The order calls for preventative measures to remediate contaminates including various hydrocarbons, ethylenes and metals. Manufacturing at the site stopped in the mid-1970s and it is currently operated by Hamilton Beach as a distribution centre and warehouse.

Water and soil testing in April found some contamination on the hospital site’s property edge, right along McFarland Drive.

“Right along McFarland Drive in two of the boreholes, there was some soil contamination but the conclusion of the consultant was that it had nothing to do with across the street. It was heavy oils and the kinds of materials that he thought would more likely have come from the road construction of McFarland Drive.”

There was also one hole where the consultant’s opinion was there may have been some dumping or was a burn pit.

“We also tested ground water and found one borehole immediately across from that site that showed some contamination,” said Andrews. “The consultant advised us that there’s a process called insitu chemical oxydation injection (into the bedrock) which could be used to neutralize that contamination.”

This is the second time the current site has been allowed to move forward as a location. In 2012 it had been discounted as being too small, but a recent donation of about four acres of land just west of the hospital by the family of Dr. Norris, put it back on the table as a possibility.

“One of the main objectives is we want to develop a co-location concept that includes other health care providers and community care agencies co-located with the hospital,” said Andrews. “It’s a concept really being promoted by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.” (MOHLTC).

The H.J. McFarland location would be on land donated by the County, and fits with its ‘Age in Place’ concept being next door to the new retirement residences and the County’s nursing home. The current site is already next door to the clinic operated by the Prince Edward Family Health Team.

Both the sites work well in terms of co-location, said Andrews.

Andrews noted many factors will be considered in the decision of where to build a new hospital, including construction costs, traffic patterns, electrical and other services.

And though it could be seven years before shovels go in the ground, work continues to meet requirements in the lengthy approval process with the Ministry.

Jason Emery Groen, HDR Architect, explained a steering committee on site selection is part of the next stage “to make a framework, then a decision on a recommendation on the site they feel will give them the most potential and opportunity to move forward.”

Criteria, he categorized into three components – urban planning (how the hospital relates to the County in general and Official Plan); qualitative criteria (hospital itself and how it functions moving forward) and constructibility (general costs at both sites).

“Criteria themselves are one part of the equation,” he said. “We have developed a series of scenarios, or high-level general approaches to how we might position a hospital on the sites.”

Seven scenarios were created – three on the each site building new and one on rebuilding the current hospital. It includes 14 beds, growing with demographics to 22 in a flexible, expandable facility.

“It’s intended to show a pattern that will allow for a clear understanding of which site might offer the most potential.”

QHC hopes to make its submission to the South East Local Health Integration Network and MOHLTC by the end of May.

The option of redeveloping the current building was examined by engineers, architects and representatives from the Family Health Team and QHC clinical areas. However, the 50-year-old building does not meet standards for building codes, infection control or care. It was determined to be just 10 per cent savings to redevelop over building new, and would not include benefits of a newly-designed building.

For any hospital redevelopment project in Ontario, the provincial government covers 90 per cent of the construction costs. The remaining 10 per cent of the construction and ancillary costs, plus 100 per cent of the equipment costs must come from local community fundraising. At today’s prices the build is expected to cost about $75 million.

Prince Edward County residents are invited to provide input on where they want a new hospital to be located. Starting May 1, residents can provide input by:
1) Filling out an online survey on the the QHC website and the PECMH Redevelopment page on Facebook

2) Picking up a copy of the survey at the PECMH Foundation office, or

3) Attending a PECMH Site Selection Community Consultation drop-in open house on May 15 from 4-6pm at the PEC Community Centre, 375 Picton Main Street in Picton.

Leo Finnegan, former hospital foundation chair, is looking forward to providing comments.

He was a patient at Picton’s hospital last week and expressed concern that a good sleep eluded him.

“It’s very noisy from the street,” he said. “I was trying to sleep and could hear all this noise and thought that might be a good reason to put it at the McFarland site if it would be quieter.”

Filed Under: Local News

About the Author:

RSSComments (3)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Marnie says:

    Too noisy in the hospital for sleep? That’s feeble. Had a family member spend almost a month there and traffic sounds were definitely not an issue.

  2. Gary says:

    The time from 4-6 today is not very good for the working person. And I have never heard of street noise being an issue. Sounds like someone really prefers an alternate site.

  3. Dave says:

    That is the first time I have ever hear of any patient not being able to sleep because of the noise from the street.

OPP reports
lottery winners
Elizabeth Crombie Janice-Lewandoski
Home Hardware Picton Sharon Armitage

© Copyright Prince Edward County News 2024 • All rights reserved.