Retirement residences slated for land adjacent to Ste. Anne’s Hospital


YLJ FILE PHOTO/CARMEN MARIE FABIO

With the official Ste. Anne’s Hospital transfer of ownership from federal to provincial jurisdiction imminent, the Town of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is looking to develop part of the grounds building medium- to high-density retirement homes.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue says plans are already in place to build retirement homes on the land next to Ste. Anne’s Veterans Hospital as the city awaits for the official transfer of the land from provincial to municipal jurisdiction, announced Mayor Paola Hawa at the June 12 council meeting.

The hospital, which was transferred from federal to provincial jurisdiction in April 2016, has a significant amount of unused land adjacent to the facility and the city is already anticipating the eventual construction of seniors’ residences, said Mayor Hawa.

“The transfer of the hospital and land has been hanging over our heads for over a decade,” Hawa told Your Local Journal. “To finalize this arrangement without any negative consequences for Ste. Anne’s is welcome news.”

Medium- to high-density development

“We’re going to be developing that area and we’re looking mainly at building medium- to high-density retirement homes. We’ve done all our homework like we usually do and we’ve already evaluated the land and the type of development that would provide the best long-term benefits for the area,” Hawa added.

The transfer is expected to take place within the next month and will finally end the hospital transfer file, said Hawa. “Because the land is located next to the train station, we determined this will provide the best return for our money,” she added.

Agglomeration refund

A revision to the formula used to calculate the amount of money that demerged municipalities pay to the Montreal agglomeration will have a substantial monetary impact for several West Island municipalities including Ste. Anne’s, said Mayor Hawa.

With the transfer of Ste. Anne’s Hospital from federal to provincial hands, the city anticipated there would be a $3.8 million annual loss of revenue, thereby resulting in a reduction in the amount of money that would have to be paid to the agglomeration.

“To our great amazement, it actually ended up that we would be paying about $750,000 more to the agglomeration,” said Hawa. “This wasn’t right. How could you be reducing your revenue and yet owe more money?”

Revised formula

After spending over one year researching for anomalies, the city discovered the formula used by the agglomeration to calculate the portion owed by municipalities was inaccurate and worked with the provincial government and agglomeration to look into the issue.

Hawa credited both levels of government for their involvement, particularly the agglomeration for revising the taxation formula in favour of Ste. Anne’s and 12 additional demerged municipalities. “In November 2016, the agglomeration proposed a change to the formula that had been in place for the past 10 years. For our city, this means we will have a reduced cost of $3.4 million a year,” she said.

The revised formula means the city will be able to fund infrastructure projects without having to borrow as much money as in the past, said Hawa.

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