Jeff Green | Dec 03, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - December 3, 2009Frontenac County CouncilBy Jeff Green
Mayor seeks deep cuts to the Fairmount Home budget
The Fairmount Home in Glenburnie prides itself on a “gentle care” philosophy, but Frontenac County Council will be giving Fairmount's budget some harsh attention this year, if Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek has his way.
At the tail end of a day-long meeting on November 18, some preliminary numbers for the 2010 budget were presented to Frontenac County Council. Included was the budget for Fairmount Home.
The projected 2010 Fairmount Home budget for 2010 is up only marginally from 2009, to $10.2 million. That budget is only partially derived from municipal taxation; the provincial government will pay $4.7 million and resident fees account for $3 million. Frontenac County ratepayers are on tap for about 1/3 of the $2.5 million municipal share, with the City of Kingston covering the rest. Thanks to a projected increase in resident fees in 2010, the contribution from Frontenac County ratepayers to Fairmount is projected to decrease by 5% next year, to a shade under $800,000.
Those numbers didn't satisfy Vanden Hoek however, who put forward a notice of motion to county council that he would be seeking a 5% decrease in the overall Fairmount budget in 2010, and a similar decrease each year for four more years.
This, if implemented, would result in a budget of under $8 million for the home by 2014.
Vanden Hoek's notice of motion comes on the heels of a consultant's report from early in 2009 that said Fairmount's cost per patient is higher than the provincial average. At that time Vanden Hoek asked Fairmount senior management to come up with a cost-cutting plan, and his budget request seems poised to put some increased pressure on that planning process.
A cost comparison shows that Fairmount does cost more to run than other homes in the region - 14% more than Lanark Lodge and 10% more than the John Parrot Centre.
Lanark Lodge in Perth, which is owned and operated by Lanark County, had a budget of $11.25 million in 2009 for 163 residents, an average cost of $69,000 per resident. The John Parrot Centre in Napanee, which is owned and operated by Lanark County, had a $12.1 million budget for 168 residents, an average annual cost of $72,000 per resident.
At $10.1 million for 128 residents, the average patient cost at Fairmount was $79,000 in 2009.
Frontenac County Council will consider Vanden Hoek's motion at their meeting in January, when the 2010 county budget will be on the table.
South Frontenac dings county for $42 grand for an acre
The new ambulance base in South Frontenac will be located on Stagecoach Road next to the Sydenham water tower.
At a special in camera meeting of Frontenac County Council on Monday night, a county purchase of the property, which is owned by South Frontenac Township, was finalized. The county will pay South Frontenac $42,000 for the one-acre parcel, and the base is slated for construction in 2010.
Frontenac County applied for, and received, a federal/provincial stimulus grant to build the base. A study of ambulance service needs in the county that was completed this past spring concluded that a new base in South Frontenac, and a 24-hour ambulance, is necessary.
The senior levels of government will provide up to $500,000 for construction of the base, and the ambulance service will cover 1/3 of the total cost.
The projected cost of maintaining a 24-hour, 365 day a year ambulance at the base is over $750,000 per year.
The Frontenac County land ambulance services covers the City of Kingston and Frontenac County. The Province of Ontario covers 50% of the costs; City of Kingston ratepayers about 40% and Frontenac County ratepayers pay about 10%.