By David Judd
The legal groundwork has been set for the new Port Dover Community Health Centre.
Officials from Norfolk County, the Port Dover Lions Club and the health centre project signed documents last Thursday that clear the way to start building the $3-million facility this year.
The new health centre will be bigger for Port Dover than winning the Stanley Cup, health centre Chair Dave Murphy said at a ceremony in the county council chamber in Simcoe.
“I guarantee shovels will be in the ground by the end of the year,” Mr. Murphy said.
The start of construction will be a “shining day for Port Dover,” Mayor Dennis Travale said.
About two dozen county officials, Lions Club members and health centre directors witnessed Mayor Travale, Lions Club President Joe Greene and Mr. Murphy sign documents.
Mayor Travale and Mr. Greene signed an agreement transferring county-owned land near the arena to the Lions Club in trust on condition the site be developed as a medical centre.
Then Mr. Greene and Mr. Murphy signed an agreement to lease the medical centre land to the health centre’s board of directors for $1 a year.
The project, to be built on the site of a former ball diamond, will cost between $2.5 million and $3 million, health centre spokesman Les Anderson of Simcoe said in an interview.
Shovels should be in the ground by late October or early November, Mr. Anderson said.
The documents signed last Thursday clear the way for Norfolk County to honour its pledge of contributing $50,000 a year for five years to the health centre project.
For legal reasons, the county thought best to turn over the former ball diamond to the Lions Club and let the club lease the site to the volunteer not-for-profit group that will build and operate the health centre.
Eventually, the health centre group plans to buy the land from the county at market value.
Getting the convoluted legal work done was like pushing rope up a hill, Mayor Travale said.
By David Judd
Posted: May 16, 2014