McLauchlin looks ahead with cautious optimism

The chairman of Rimoka Housing Foundation is looking forward to the new year with cautious optimism.

Paul McLauchlin

The chairman of Rimoka Housing Foundation is looking forward to the new year with cautious optimism.

Taking a few minutes to chat before he went out to clear snow on Dec. 31, an activity most Albertans have been engaged in recently, Paul McLauchlin said he is looking forward to working with his new board.

“I am quite happy with them all. It seems everyone is pulling together in the same direction and it should be a good year.”

McLauchlin doesn’t believe a recent cabinet shuffle which saw Ken Hughes taking over from Doug Griffiths as minister of Alberta Municipal Affairs should make a difference regarding approval for a new senior’s lodge in Rimbey.

“A need is a need,” he said. “I don’t see a difference and it’s on the list.”

McLauchlin said approval for the lodge was verbally given in November by the assistant deputy minister of housing, Mike Leathwood.

“It’s all verbal at this point,” he said.

In the coming months McLauchlin expects a funding formula for the lodge will be realized and Rimoka will decide how much of the debt load they can realistically carry.

Presently there are several puzzle pieces missing regarding the lodge proposal, he said, noting the land earmarked for the lodge has not yet been purchased, although the deal is closed to being completed.

“There is a few final pieces of the puzzle to be put in place for sure,” he said.

McLauchlin doesn’t foresee an increase in Rimoka’s requisitions to the towns of Ponoka and Rimbey and Ponoka County.

He said 2013 was a good year financially with energy costs coming in slightly lower than anticipated and the provincial funding slightly higher than estimated.

He said a new manager is to be hired for Parkland Manor in Rimbey and the position is now being advertised.

“There has been lots of interest in the new position; very qualified interested persons,” he noted.

The board of directors for Rimoka Housing Authority will meet with residents at Parkland Manor on Jan. 6 to discuss issues, concerns and plans for a proposed new lodge.