Council provides funding for new Hospice House

A new Hospice House to help comfort those nearing end of life and their families is one step closer to reality.

City council, at its Dec. 14 meeting, helped move the project along after it agreed to cover the costs of servicing the Evergreen Road property where the house will be built. Council approved spending up to a maximum of $45,000 for installation of utilities. That’s in addition to the $43,016 council gave the Campbell River Hospice Society earlier this year to cover the costs of permits, fees and development cost charges related to construction of the house.

Elle Brovold, the city’s property manager, said Hospice is looking for additional financial aid because the estimate to service the property was greater than expected due to technical challenges on the property, which is in close proximity to a city reservoir.

Brovold said it’s estimated that it will cost $65,000 to service the property because of existing soil conditions, the fact services will have to be realigned to be on an angle, and because of the presence of significant infrastructure in the roadway. D’Arcy Frankland, a volunteer with the Hospice House build team, told council at its Dec. 14 meeting that city staff cautioned the Hospice team that developing the property, which was donated by the city to Hospice, could be costly.

“I was warned that it would be very, very difficult to service and quite challenging because it’s adjacent to the water reservoir,” Frankland said. “That’s the reason it’s so costly – because it’s very complicated.

Frankland said now that a servicing plan and a major development permit – which council also approved – is in place, Hospice hopes to break ground on its new home as soon as possible.

“We’re very excited to finally get started and get through the final steps,” Frankland said. “We will be proceeding with phase one of the building and that consists of administrative offices, counselling offices and a pain management clinic. The application for the major development permit includes a second phase but we won’t be proceeding with that part at this time.”

Hospice intends to build a single story building on the empty lot next to the new hospital that includes a kitchen, a library, counselling offices, a multi-purpose room, a clinic and an outdoor courtyard.