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Bashaw lodge looks to becoming more than a seniors’ home

March 30, 2017 -- Lisa Joy, ECA Review reporter

Bashaw Valley Lodge hasn’t been able to become the facility for seniors it had hoped and wants to try different ventures.
“The senior supportive living business model that the Bashaw Lodge has pursued has not achieved the level of success that was anticipated,” Lodge Manager Sam Kirsch told Bashaw council during its regular meeting March 23.
“We can’t seem to make it profitable at this time.”
The lodge no longer has its license to be a seniors’ facility because it didn’t have the required minimum number of senior residents.
The owners now want to expand its business model in the hopes of staying sustainable and keep the lodge in the community.
They want to add and establish supportive revenue for the lodge but not abandon the original intent to be a provider of senior independent housing in Bashaw.
To reach this goal, they propose to provide new services and create jobs in the community.
Some ways the lodge could achieve this is by offering a place to dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  As well as prepare meals for seniors and the public for visiting sports teams, clubs and organizations.
Another idea, said Kirsch, is to provide accommodation to visitors and help fill a current gap in Bashaw after the loss of the Bashaw Motor Inn to a fire last year.
The lodge would also like to offer various groups an opportunity to stay at the lodge such as sports teams, golfers, fishers and nature enthusiasts.
“We hope to market the lodge as a preferred Alberta retreat to authors, composers, artists and families who wish to find a place to regroup, think, create and explore ideas in a rural and naturally peaceful setting,” said Kirsch.
The lodge could also host leadership and training seminars, personal and spiritual growth workshops, life experience focused studies, visual and performing arts exhibits and health and wellness workshops.
“We believe that there is a demand for government, corporate, youth and adult educational institution that will find the Town of Bashaw a great choice for their needs and services.”
The lodge could also hold both indoor and outdoor events, including birthday parties, reunions and weddings. The lodge is on five acres and the courtyard could host garden receptions and social gather as well as winter, spring summer and fall festivals.
“We ask the town council to allow us to serve the public in our dining area, operate as a retreat and lodge and become an event centre for the community,” said Kirsch.
Bashaw Mayor Penny Shantz welcomed the changes.
“This is a very interesting proposal.  Personally I believe it would be a great benefit to Bashaw.”
Likewise, Coun. Lynn Schultz agreed.
“We would like to see it be a success. We have to be susceptible to change and what makes it work.”
Dr. Tony Mucciarone was also present at the meeting and said, “The only way it will be a success is if we get community participation and support.”
Council received the presentation as information.
They will get more information about fire safety and any potential parking issues before voting on the lodge’s proposal.
Deputy Mayor Rosella Peterman said she would like to see the facility kept open.
“It’s good for the town to have that facility in use and regular use.”

Fourteen bids for infrastructure project
Fourteen companies bid on Bashaw’s 2017 Infrastructure Replacement project and the contract was awarded to Carbon Earthworks of Red Deer, which put in the lowest bid.
Their tender price was $1,080,346, which included tax.  Greg Smith of Tagish Engineering out of Red Deer, told Bashaw council during their regular meeting March 23, that since Carbon Earthworks has limited past experience and is relatively new to the industry, they recommend the contingency allowance be increased to 12 per cent from the usual 10 per cent.
Smith added, however, that Tagish Engineering has worked with Carbon Earthworks in Stettler and that it “did go well.
“They are a newer company that started in 2011 and are a little extra aggressive.”
Smith said 14 bids were a lot andt he next lowest bid was Border Paving at $1,414,061.
Most of the bids came from Edmonton companies but other bids came from Lacombe such as Grayson Excavating for $1,602,164 and DB Bobcat for $1,830,392.
Other central Alberta companies who put in a bid were Central City for $1,830, 415 and Pidherneys for $1,828,550. The highest bid was from Alfresco Construction for $2,669,701.
“It’s an extremely good time for civil infrastructure,” said Smith. “Unfortunately there’s not enough work in the industry for how many people are looking. I would say that is the single biggest reason.”
Council approved $1,254,525 for the 2017 infrastructure replacement project through grants from Federal Gas Tax, MSI Capital and municipal transportation grant. The shortfall is $16,499.

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