Health care village neighbours to be kept up-to-date on concept


Homeowners near Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital have received an apology from Town of  Petrolia officials and a promise to keep them informed.
That according to David Chidley, one of the people near CEEH who is concerned what might become of their homes as a new Health Care Village is developed.
The town and Bluewater Health are working on the Health Community Master Plan. Bluewater Health plans to reconfigure the interior of Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital. The town is working with the same consultants to improve the community for seniors in the future.
The concept was originally introduced as a Health Care Hub, with the town encouraging private developers to build seniors’ housing – everything from condos to assisted living – near the hospital.
When the town and Bluewater Health introduced the concept at a public meeting, homeowners on Glenview Drive and Dufferin Street became concerned. They found their homes marked as improved frontage opportunities and they began to wonder what that would mean.
The homeowners understand the concept of the health community master plan and see the value of housing for seniors near the hospital, but neither the town nor Bluewater Health had directly contacted them. Chidley says he approached the consultants for the project about the issue, but didn’t hear back from them. So the neighbours went to The Independent to voice their concerns.
Shortly after the article was published, the town invited the group to a meeting. Chidley says town officials and the consultants apologized they had not been contacted sooner. “They acknowledged circling us with a big orange marker and calling it improved frontage was a mistake,” says Chidley, after meeting with Petrolia CAO Manny Baron, Councillor Mary Pat Gleeson, and the consultant for the project. Mayor John McCharles was also sitting in on the meeting.
“They used the word sorry and apologized.”
And Chidley says officials did promise to keep the homeowners up to date with the plan, above and beyond the regular public meetings.
“There was satisfaction with the idea they are going to be a lot more open with us,” says Chidley.
“But there was certainly a wait and see attitude” among the nine homeowners present,” he added.
“I give them credit for responding to the concerns we raised in the paper.”
And Chidley says the homeowners still don’t have a good idea what the area might look like in the future. He asked them to show him on a map where the bricks and mortar of any of the buildings would be and was told the planning is not to that stage yet. “They told us there is no building, yet… they’re not far enough into the plan to say where the housing will be.”