The former Valley Park Manor in Riverside Meadows in Red Deer is still standing empty after closing a decade ago. (Advocate file photo).

Security for empty nursing home is pricier than it would have been to knock it down

Provincial taxpayers have now paid more to mothball a former nursing home for a decade than it would have cost to demolish the uninhabitable building in the first place, says Red Deer’s mayor.

Tara Veer told city council this week that the $100,000 the provincial government is paying annually to secure the former Valley Park Manor has surpassed $1 million — more than the cost of wrecking the building after it was shut down in 2010.

AHS disputes the mayor’s cost estimate

Neighbouring residents in Riverside Meadows complain to city councillors that criminal acts are going on in the derelict, empty structure, even though it’s watched by a security company.

“We continue to hear from people about break ins… and all manner of illicit activities,” said Coun. Tanya Handley.

A report the mayor presented to council this week shows that city officials have raised concerns about the empty Valley Park Manor becoming a target for vandalism and other illegal activities with the infrastructure minister and the associate minister of red tape reduction.

Handley said local MLAs have also been apprised of the situation.

But while the building is “past the point of no return,” containing asbestos and poor mechanical systems, according to Veer, no action is being taken by the provincial government.

Handley admitted the situation has been frustrating, because city council has no control over the provincially owned property.

Since municipal demands that the former nursing home either be demolished or sold for redevelopment are going unanswered, it’s spurring concerns that the same neglect could happen to Piper Creek Lodge.

Handley is worried this still-inhabited provincially-owned seniors facility, at 4820 33rd St., will also be left to languish for years after it closes once its clients are moved into a new seniors’ housing project, being built on the former Red Deer Nursing Home site at 30th Street and Bremner Avenue.

Large derelict lots are bad news for any neighbourhood, said Handley, who believes redevelopment helps spark rejuvenation.

Tara Lodewyk, the city’s director of planning services, said the city does have a grant program open to private owners of derelict buildings in the downtown.

They can apply to a fund for help with fixing up or tearing down their structures. But a provincially owned nursing home would not qualify.

A spokesperson from Alberta Health stated on Friday that the building is owned by Alberta Health Services.

Red Deer City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One new COVID-19 case confirmed for Red Deer

Red Deer has one new confirmed case of COVID-19, which brings the… Continue reading

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools reveals three-phase layoff plan

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has announced a three-phase layoff process after… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

RDSO’s April concert is pushed back into the fall

No decisions yet on what will happen to the June 5 finale

Hospital parking fees suspended during COVID-19 pandemic

Alberta Health Services has been directed to temporarily suspend parking fees during… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements over COVID crisis

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements over COVID crisis

Internal audit of Scheer’s expenses turns up money on school, clothes, minivan

Internal audit of Scheer’s expenses turns up money on school, clothes, minivan

Alberta announces new COVID-19 rules for workers at long-term care centres

Alberta announces new COVID-19 rules for workers at long-term care centres

N.L. health minister urges safe use of dating apps during pandemic

N.L. health minister urges safe use of dating apps during pandemic

Staying home offers chance to declutter, but what to do when you can’t donate?

Staying home offers chance to declutter, but what to do when you can’t donate?

Trump says he expects Russia, Saudis to cut oil production

Trump says he expects Russia, Saudis to cut oil production

Most Read