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Rimoka votes to stay independent

Rimoka Housing Foundation has decided it does not want to go down the road of third party management again and advised Alberta Seniors and Housing last month they don’t wish to combine with any other seniors’ foundation.

Rimoka’s board of directors met with government representatives on Feb. 17, after which they passed a motion affirming they did not want to amalgamate.

Town of Ponoka councillors Ted Dillon and Sandra Lyon are directors on the Rimoka Foundation board and commented on the Rimoka meeting during their reports to council on Feb. 23.

“We’ve been through that, and it didn’t work,” said Dillon.

“They got an earful,” he said, adding there’s more to come on that because the UCP were taking it to caucus the next day.

Rimoka was under the umbrella of the Bethany Care Group for several years, before regaining control of its portfolio.

Rimoka transferred management of its social housing portfolio to the Bethany Group in 2011.

READ MORE: Rimoka settling in to full management of buildings and assets

The decision was made after then CAO Gerry Hildebrand resigned. Directors met to shortlist candidates, but ultimately decided to contract management of their residencies with Bethany Care Group, which operates seniors’ homes in the Battle River Region.

Although Bethany Group announced in 2015 that it would no longer be managing Rimoka, the process took a few years to complete, and management wasn’t transferred back to Rimoka until Jan. 1, 2018.

“We have a very bitter taste in our mouth,” said Dillon.

“As Coun. Dillon said, I think it was fair to say that the entire board is just not in favour of amalgamating,” said Lyon.

“It was stressed pretty clearly that day that we’re very concerned with looking after the members of our community because they’re the people who built this community and we’re not willing to just drop that, to put it in somebody else’s hands again, to let it go sideways,” she said.