Dementia unit work to begin at Coraki
By JANELLE McLENNAN
WORK on the long-awaited six-bed dementia unit for the Mid Richmond Residents Village at Coraki should start within the next few months.
Richmond Valley Council has voted to proceed with the project and to cover the estimated $520,000 shortfall in funds for the construction out of the village's accommodation bonds.
Originally, the dementia unit was expected to cost about $600,000 to construct, with the bulk of the money to come from a $300,000 Department of Health and Aging grant and funds held in reserve by the residents' village.
However, the council was forced to look again at its finances after tenders were called and the cost of the project blew out to over $1 million.
After some hard thinking and a community consultation process which showed considerable support for the project, the council has decided to press ahead with the dementia unit's construction.
However, with the same community consultation process clearly showing that ratepayers did not want their rate money going to cover the cost of building the unit, the council elected to use a proportion of the village's accommodation bonds to pay for the new six-bed unit.
Council's general manager Brian Wilkinson said he hoped construction of the unit would start before Christmas or early next year at the latest.
Meanwhile, the council, which has been investigating handing over the operation of the residents' village to a local community group, has also decided to work with the Department of Lands to develop 'mechanisms and processes' for the transfer or lease of the nursing home.