County council examines Bethany Group concerns

Ponoka County councillors are taking the Bethany Group to task over recent changes in operations at Golden Leisure Lodge in Rimbey.

Ponoka County councillors are taking the Bethany Group to task over recent changes in operations at Golden Leisure Lodge in Rimbey.

Coun. Keith Beebe has received complaints from residents that staff cannot buy lunches anymore. They used to be allowed to buy meals for $5 but that has been discontinued. Residents appear concerned over the changes taking place.

“It’s not exactly the way you cultivate good morale,” offered CAO Charlie Cutforth.

“Maybe it’s time to look at the Bethany Group and get rid of them too,” stated Coun. Gawney Hinkley. “You can give them 30 days without any cost…I would look into Bethany Group very strongly.”

Reeve Gord Svenningsen was not privy to these changes and believed only the benefits package was being looked at. “There was no mention of anything like this.”

He is going to speak with Bethany Group to find out what occurred.

Bethany was hired to manage Rimoka’s affairs at $85,000, says Hinkley. At the time he did not think that was enough to manage.

“We said you guys can’t operate on that. They said, ‘Oh yes we can.’ All of a sudden everything’s going up,” he explained.

However, Cutforth says their operation requisition has been raised to just over $90,000. “It’s not obscene.”

Other business with the Rimoka Housing Foundation and Bethany group concerned the proposed senior’s building.

Ponoka County is hoping to ensure funds for a new building in Rimbey. The county has a commitment for land in the area and Cutforth hopes speaking with the province will help secure funds in the next three years.

“We’re urging them (the province) for funding,” says Cutforth. “We’re not trying to do Rimoka’s job for them.”

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