| Oct 17, 2013

There were smiles all around at the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction phase of the Pine Meadow Nursing Home redevelopment.

The target date for the completion of the project is the spring of 2015. Once completed, the home will have two wings, each with capacity to house 32 residents in single and double occupancy rooms. Each wing will have its own nursing station and dining room.

Currently, the 20-year-old home has capacity for 60 residents in single, double and four-bed rooms. There is one nursing station and a large dining room for all the residents.

“It will be much more homey once the changes are made,” said Barb Ellsworth, a six-year resident of Pine Meadow and the chair of the residents' council, “especially for those who live in the four-bed rooms. That's too many people living in one room.”

Before the ceremony proceeded, presentations were made that demonstrated two of the major fund-raising commitments that have made the project possible. Doug Bearance, warden of Lennox and Addington County, presented a ceremonial cheque of $250,000 to mark the 10-year commitment of $25,000 per year that the county has made to the project. As well, Marilyn Bolender presented a $50,000 cheque to mark the commitment that the Land O'lakes Lions Club has made. Also on hand were Paul and Martha McLean, summer residents on Mazinaw Lake who have donated $30,000 to the Pine Meadow redevelopment fund.

Ernest Lapchinski, along with North Frontenac Mayor Bud Clayton, has been involved with the project as a member of the Pine Meadow Management Committee for the 12 years it has taken for the project to get final approval from the Ministry of Health, and financing from Infrastructure Ontario.

He thanked a number of people who have been instrumental in bringing the long-anticipated project to this stage.

“I would particularly like to thank Land O'Lakes Community Services, the parent body of Pine Meadow Nursing Home, for their trust and confidence in our management committee,” said Lapchinski.

In addition to thanking some of the people who were involved with the project when it was originally conceived in 2001, Lapchinski also thanked the home's administrator Bonnie George, and committee member Bill Cox. Lapchinski said that Cox, as deputy reeve of Addington Highlands Council, has “given considerable support to our funding proposals at Lennox and Addington County and continuing moral support for the project.

“I would also like to thank the local fund-raising committees, the special needs committee for Pine Meadow, the annual golf tournament, our local quilting groups and merchants, who have all given so much in time and funding,” said Lapchinski.

Pine Meadow Nursing Home is a community-owned home. It receives funding support from the Province of Ontario on a per patient basis, and patients pay rent as well. It is run on a not-for-profit basis under the umbrella of Land O'Lakes Community Services. Unlike municipally run homes such as the John Parrot Home in Napanee or Fairmount Home in rural Kingston, Pine Meadow does not receive any operating funds from municipal tax dollars.

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