13.7 C
Niagara Falls
Monday, April 15, 2024
Letter: Marotta could build seniors facility on old hospital site
The old hospital site.

Dear editor:

One could hardly disagree that members of the Marotta family has been treated by many in the Niagara-on-the-Lake community, including our elected officials, as pariahs.

Recently this family has donated a total of $25 million outside their residential community: $10 million to the new hospital being built in Niagara Falls and a further $15 million to the St. Catharines Hospital, which will now carry the Marotta family name.

Do you blame them when every proposed development was aggressively challenged, costing the family and NOTL taxpayers millions in legal fees?

It’s time to call a ceasefire and bury the hatchet on this ongoing charade and zero-sum game .

Clearly our current and former elected officials have been unable or unwilling to make the tough decision on the future of NOTL’s old hospital site.

When she was lord mayor, Betty Disero commissioned a study requesting proposals to transform the hospital into an alternate-use facility. In her judgement several of the proposals were worthy of further consideration.

Unfortunately, as with other tough decisions (for example, the residential parking problem), the can was kicked down the road.

All the proposals, in spite of the good faith, tireless and professional efforts by our concerned citizens, were thrown in the trash bin.

The decision was left to the next or the next or the next council.

The residential parking decision has been decades waiting for a solution.

So, here we are well into the term of our new lord mayor and council. Is the hospital decision heading in the same direction?

I have a proposal.

With the impending closing of our Upper Canada Lodge, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s large seniors are left bare and exposed to the lack of long-term care in town.

Accordingly, our elected officials should broach a proposal for the Marotta family to buy the hospital site with the understanding that an unopposed approval be part of the sale to construct an elegant, luxurious seniors care facility.

Something like the Royal Henley in St. Catharines. In consideration of this infrastructure investment I would suggest it be named the Marotta Family Manor: A Compassionate Seniors Care Facility.

Such an impressive and imposing facility at this location could be the envy of the province.

Samuel Young

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