Residents will be able to sleep a little more soundly at Golden Leisure Lodge after the announcement that funds for a fire sprinkler system were approved.
The announcement came Tuesday, March 17 at the lodge by Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox who said $770,000 has been set aside for the project.
“I can tell you that seniors are a big priority with our premier,” said Fox.
Lodges across Alberta built before 1990, when building codes did not require fire sprinkler systems, are receiving money to improve fire safety in the building. Management of the lodge falls to the Rimoka Housing Foundation, which has hired the Bethany Group to manage operations at all of the Rimoka buildings.
Rimoka chairperson Paul McLauchlin said last fall management bodies were asked to determine what it would cost to install a sprinkler system. His initial thoughts that it would cost millions of dollars were wrong, which he was pleased to see.
“I think it will provide us with the safety and protection we need,” said McLauchlin.
He said the goal is to install the systems as soon as possible and planners need to look at the different types of systems available before making a decision.
There are two possible options: a dry sprinkler system that suppresses the oxygen in the air in the event of a fire or a wet sprinkler system. McLauchlin says whatever is decided on the suppression will buy seniors much needed time in the event of a fire.
“First and foremost is to protect the collective good,” he said.
Planning is expected to start right away.