Belleville’s taking a tough stance on the escalating cost of long term care facilities.
During its budget deliberations Wednesday, city council refused to pay the increased costs for Hastings Manor and Centennial Manor, which range from 17% to 31%.
Council approved a motion introduced by Councillor Jackie Denyes that the city review the “exit clause” on share-funding the two Long Term Care Homes, Hastings Manor in Belleville and Centennial Manor in Bancroft.
Hastings County clerk Jim Duffin told council that the Centennial Manor funding contract was arranged during the amalgamation of Thurlow Township and the city and therefore any change would involve opening up the amalgamation agreement to change it.
Meanwhile Belleville, which shares the costs of services with Hastings County and Quinte West, voted to continue paying its share at the 2017 level.
Officials from the county told council there were a number of issues which increased the budget for the shared service including sick leave, patients with difficulties such as Alzheimer’s and there was a decrease in funding from the province.
Councillor Garnet Thompson is Chair of Community and Human Services says there are difficulties.
Hastings Director of Finance Sue Horwood told council the province is attempting to have the staffing standard at four hours per patient.
At present, Hastings Manor sits at under 2.5 hours.
Council did vote to approve funding for a 5% increase for social housing and a 12.5% hike in the Emergency Services budget.