Seniors housing complex back on track

Bragg Creek: new partners and location after flood

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 02:58 pm

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After coming to a standstill, things are moving forward again for a new seniors housing complex planned in Bragg Creek.

The original three acres that were donated for the project by landowner Dick Koetsier in 2010 were badly damaged by floodwaters, forcing the Bragg Creek Seniors Housing Society to go back to the drawing board.

Society member Sharon Bayer said construction would have likely started this spring, and while they’re disappointed they are back to planning stages, she said it was also a blessing that all they lost was land.

“It would have been a lot worse if we had built already and then had to deal with that,” she said.

Bayer said the community is still in desperate need of a suitable place for seniors to call home.

“When I look at the term ‘community’ it means there’s a place for a total demographic, and right now there’s no housing for seniors,” said Bayer. “If community members want to downsize or need a change because they can’t maintain a large property anymore, they have no options.”

Louise-Marie Eagar, president of the Bragg Creek Chamber of Commerce, said that they’re “very supportive” of the project and feel that it will benefit a number of Bragg Creek residents.

“We’re a huge supporter of the proposal,” Eager said. “We’re a proponent of the business community and we do what we can to support the area.”

Eagar said she’s seen many friends who have had to leave the community that they’ve lived in for many years because they have nowhere to go once it’s time to sell their property.

“We have a huge component, as does everyone, for our growing older population,” she said. Seniors housing is sorely needed, rather than have people who have contributed so much to our community leave.”

The Rocky View Foundation, which manages five seniors housing facilities in the Rocky View area, has been a big supporter of the Bragg Creek seniors housing since the beginning.

Carol Borschneck, chief administrative officer for the Rocky View Foundation, said that they are they are “excited to be pursuing a partnership with the society.”

“There is a demonstrated need in the community of Bragg Creek, and they are in the Rocky View Country, so we are proceeding in a direction to work with the society in developing independent housing for seniors,” she said.

Borschneck noted the society has done a lot of the work getting the project started, and the Rocky View Foundation will be “picking up where they’ve left off.”

Moving forward, Borschneck said they will be receiving a donation of land from the original donor, located not far from the original land next to the Bragg Creek Snowbirds Chalet. She said that the complex will be independent apartment-style housing, and the amount of units will be determined after a needs and feasibility study is distributed in the coming weeks. In addition the foundation will be seeking provincial funding for the project.


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