Council discusses future of assisted living with Rainycrest Administrator

By Ken Johnston

Rainy River Town Council held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday.
Council received a delegation from the Assisted Living Action Group (ALAG). Darryl Galusha, who is also the Rainycrest Senior Administrator, presented council with a short presentation.
Galusha spoke from personal experience and the heart when he told council, "I am not about building bricks and mortar. I am about taking care of people."
Assisted living is independent living with some assistance.
Rainy River already has an assisted living facility at Rivervew Manor. Mayor Deb Ewald explained to Galusha that when Riverview Manor had more than 50% vacancy rates the Rainy River DSSAB saw an opportunity to try assisted living.
"We were a pilot project and it has worked!" said Ewald.
Ewald noted that Rainy River's other seniors apartment building, Heritage House, also has a number of vacant apartments and is being looked at for a possible expansion of the assisted living units here.
Galusha said, "I was not aware of Heritage. It gives me something to work on."
ALAG has been looking at the situation throughout the district and has done extensive surveys of residents who could, or would like assisted living.
"We already have an exodus of young people. We do not want an exodus of our seniors because they can not get the living accommodations they want here."
Galusha said that of the 164 people in Rainycrest, he feels about 46 of them could live in an assisted living facility.
ALAG has looked at properties across the district and if a bricks and mortar facility is the answer, they have not committed to anyone town.
Mayor Ewald said, "If the facility goes to Emo or Fort you are still uprooting people from there homes and that does not help our residents or the community."
Other business
•The annual borrowing bylaw was passed. The Town can borrow up to $300,000 to meet expenditures until tax revenues start coming in.
•An interim tax levy was passed. Taxpayers will be billed 50 percent of last year's total actual tax bill. It will be due by March 31, 2014.
•Council passed a resolution asking the province to take back funding responsibilities for O.P.P. policing in communities under 5,000 people.
•Council paid its annual 50¢ per capita to the RR Valley Safety Coalition.
•Rainy River will be an associate member of the Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association at a cost of $75.
•Marc McPherson has been appointed Deputy Chief Building Official/Inspector.