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Construction halts on long awaited care home in Grenfell, Sask.

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Grenfell, Sask. -

Construction has halted on a long awaited care home in Grenfell.

The provincial government is concerned about value for its construction dollar. The project will be re-tendered with project completion delayed by another year.

Some dirt was moved but nothing was built. Grenfell residents have been caught by surprise.

“It makes it a lot more challenging for the community to have that excitement and momentum when things come to a stall. So if we can get things awarded and moving forward again, that would help,” Larry Parriott with the Grenfell and District Health Foundation said.

Last October, the government held a sod turning ceremony and announced that construction of a new long term care home had started. An Alberta construction team was in place but the government soon backed out.

“So what happened in this instance is we received a construction services proposal from the proponent that didn’t meet the value for taxpayers that we typically look for and so the Government of Saskatchewan chose to exercise its off ramp mechanism,” Leah Lopez with SaskBuilds and Procurement explained.

Grenfell has been without a long term care home since 2018 when mold forced closure of an existing facility. About 20 residents were moved to other towns with the promise that they could come back when a new home was ready.

“They even held a ground breaking ceremony complete with shovels. It appears to be nothing more than a photo op as they’ve now backtracked and it’s hard to tell if construction ever did begin like the government said it did,” NDP MLA Matt Love said.

The new home was to have been completed in 2025 but that will now be delayed by another year.

The government hopes to get better value this time but it’s taking a chance. Past experience has shown that the longer a project is delayed, the more it can cost to build.

Grenfell is located approximately 126 kilometres east of Regina and is home to just over 1,000 residents.

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