The Town of Gravenhurst will look to amend the agreement it has with the Cottage Country Family Health Team (CCFHT), allowing the operation to potentially expand.
The non-profit organization currently occupies only the first floor of the two-storey building at 5 Pineridge Gate.
The idea is that the second floor would contain diagnostic imaging, a ParaMed nursing clinic, and a full-service laboratory. The health team’s corporate office and spaces for program staff, audiology, physiotherapy, and continuous positive away pressure services could also occupy the top floor.
CCFHT signed a joint venture agreement with the town in 2009 when they opened. The health team owns the building but the town owns the land it sits on.
A separate 99-year ground lease was also signed at the time.
Lorraine Johnston, executive director of CCFHT, spoke to Gravenhurst council last week asking them to amend the agreement, which could be terminated in December 2028. She argued that amending the termination right for another two decades would allow the health team to enter into new leases to recover expenses that will pile up once they start to develop the building’s second floor.
Council agreed to have town staff look into amending the agreement.
A lease has already been signed with a new ParaMed nursing clinic.
Johnston explained that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care gives them funding for human resources and operation but not to maintain the building. She went on to say the leases CCFHT enters into would help pay for the second-floor expansion.
“This community has, for a long time, been saying we need more healthcare here,” Mayor Paul Kelly said. He noted that the second floor of the building has sat unused since it was opened over a decade ago. “Any opportunity to move that forward will certainly, I think, be appreciated by the community,” he added.