Medical centre plan moving forward

The town has taken another step toward assuming ownership and control of  the Lions Medical Centre here.

Council passed a resolution agreeing to the formation of a municipal service corporation to operate the clinic at the April 21 meeting. Council also accepted a business case study on the establishment of the medical centre as an economic development corporation.

The Harriston Lions Club established the centre more than 30 years ago, but today the club is down to three active members and struggles to continue operations. In the late 1970s, the Harriston Lions Community Medical Corporation was set up by the club to build and operate a medical clinic in the community. The clinic currently provides offices for a dentist and a family physician. A financial report indicates the property is assessed at about $227,000 and the facility operated at a profit of around $4,000 in 2014. Leases for the two tenants come due for renewal in 2016 and 2017, but a staff report discussions are underway with both about renewal.

Councillor Mary Lou Colwell noted the proposal contains conditions, including a requirement the building continue to be used primarily for medical offices, retain the name “Harriston Lions Medical Centre” and continue employment of some local people currently involved in maintenance of the facility. She asked if time limits could be put on the conditions in case they eventually become impractical.

CAO Bill White said the matter could be addressed when a bylaw is presented for approval at a future meeting.