2021 BVRH Requisition
Each year we requisition funds from the ratepayers of the region through our member municipalities. The funds enable us to provide licensed supportive living accommodations to the seniors of the Bow Valley region. This year we have a good news/bad news situation. The good news is we had a very successful year in 2020: we were able to keep our seniors’ lodge residents and employees 100% safe from Covid-19 and, we made tremendous progress toward bringing 60 high-level continuing care beds to the region. The bad news is that our success came at a significant cost.
Our emergency reserve is now empty and many of our other reserves are quite depleted. The extraordinary expenditures of 2020 combined with more anticipated for this year mean we will requisition nearly 70% more in 2021. That translates into an additional $800,000 for operations and $300,000 for reserve replenishment or fulfillment.
The requisition will ensure that we can continue to safeguard the people in our lodges, to commission 60 new care beds and, to begin to replenish our reserves. Our Covid-19 emergency operations require more staffing, supplies and equipment than current provincial funding covers. The care addition to the lodge in Canmore will mean operational, furnishing, and equipping costs above and beyond the $16.3 million dollars that the province has contributed to this final part of the project.
The conjunction of the foreseen and unforeseen events of 2020, carrying over into 2021, have shown us that we cannot drop our guard against the risk Covid-19 poses to our seniors and that it would be irresponsible to leave our reserves unfunded. We take our responsibilities to our communities, our ratepayers, and our clients very seriously. Our approach to these financial burdens has been appropriate and effective: it is careful to balance the needs of and risks to our operations against the financial burden on our clients and the ratepayers of the region. We have approved lower-than-normal operating budgets this year and we have cancelled or deferred multiple projects and our usual reserve contributions. We will use the requisition to cover the costs of Covid-19 and expanded care operations and to spread our reserve replenishment and fulfillment out over the next few years. Any unused funds and unexpected revenues will help to offset future requisitions, which we anticipate will be substantially lower in years to come.
The bottom line: we have had an expensive but highly successful year, but we could not do what we do without the support of the ratepayers of the Bow Valley region. Thank you for helping to fund our accomplishments:
• Our seniors’ lodge residents, who are among our most vulnerable citizens have been kept safe from Covid-19!
• Our collaboration with the province us has saved the ratepayers of the region more than $15 million through a $32 million investment in our campus of care! Together we are bringing much needed supportive care capacity to the region that will keep many more of our seniors aging safely in community at affordable rates for decades to come.