Funding for the purchase of land for the North Side Senior Citizens Centre was diverted again during the 2006/07 financial year.
North Side MLA and Speaker of the House Edna Moyle objected to the diversion during Finance Committee last week.
‘[The North Side senior citizens] will all be dead by the time we get it built,’ Mrs. Moyle said.
An appropriation of $250,000 was approved for the purchase of land for the seniors’ centre in the 2006/07 budget, but the Ministry of Health applied to have the funds switched to an Equity Investment for the construction of the Caribbean Haven women’s facility in Breakers.
Mrs. Moyle said she had been trying for 16 years to get a centre for senior citizens in North Side and that it wasn’t the first time funds approved for the purchase of land for the project were used for something else.
‘North Side must get a senior citizens’ centre without any further delay,’ she said to the Finance Committee.
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts reminded Mrs. Moyle that the appropriation was for 2006/07 and that there was also an allowance for the land purchase for the North Side Senior Citizens facility in the 2007/08 Budget.
‘A search is under way for the land,’ Mr. Tibbetts said. ‘When we find a suitable site, there will be funds available and nothing will hold it up.’
Speaking outside of Finance Committee, Mrs. Moyle explained what she saw as the function of the seniors’ facility in North Sound.
‘I see it as a day-care centre now, with some beds in case we need to use them,’ she said. ‘It will be a place where you can drop off a senior citizen in the morning and they can spend the day, have a hot meal, get their medication, do hand crafts and just associate and reminisce.’
Mrs. Moyle said funds had been approved for the purchase of land for the North Side seniors’ centre as far back ago as 1993/94. She said the $90,000 approved for the North Side project in that budget year was used to install air conditioning in the East End Civic Centre instead.