April 28, 2014 2:10 pm

Flood-ravaged High River gets grants, senior’s lodge rebuild

Members of the RCMP return from a boat patrol of a still flooded neighborhood in High River, Alta., July 4, 2013.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

HIGH RIVER, AB – People in the flood-ravaged town of High River received some encouraging news on Monday.

Officials announced plans to rebuild a senior’s lodge damaged in the June 2013 floods, and also unveiled a number of grants for local nonprofit organizations.

It’s hoped the grants will help five organizations in the town get back to providing programs and services greatly needed by the community.

Organizations receiving grants to assist in flood recovery include:

  • Literacy for Life – $116,642 for operational costs and a flood book
  • Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society – $30,000 to redevelop and rebuild resources to support prevention and awareness programs
  • Foothills Special Needs Association for Parents and Siblings – $49,627 for programming costs and hiring a family support coordinator
  • High River Figure Skating Club – $749 for equipment damage
  • Rowan House Society Emergency Shelter – $75,000 for continued support to in-shelter residents

The funding was made available through the province’s Special Flood Recovery Program.

Meanwhile, plans are also underway to rebuild the Medicine Tree Manor, a lodge damaged in the June 2013 floods.

The 52-unit Medicine Tree Manor, built in 1960, will be demolished and replaced with 40 larger-sized lodge units on the existing site.

Construction is expected to begin this fall and is anticipated to be complete in 2017.

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“Affordable housing for Alberta seniors is critical to our province,” explains Greg Weadick, Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The Medicine Tree Manor rebuild is an incredible opportunity to improve and modernize the lodge for residents.”

The total project cost is estimated at $9.9 million.

The province will provide $4.95 million in capital funding, and the Foothills Foundation, which owns Medicine Tree Manor, will provide the remaining funding.

Medicine Tree Manor shares its location with The Westwinds Lodge (32 units) and The Parkside at Medicine Tree Manor (28 units).

All three lodges were flooded in June 2013, displacing 112 residents.

Displaced seniors will be supported in other seniors’ facilities in the region or in government-supplied interim housing during the rebuild of Medicine Tree Manor.

The repairs of the other two lodges will be coordinated with the construction of Medicine Tree Manor.

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