The Care Centre flips to own hot water system; city shuts off contracted service

The Cornwall Command Center, along with a Cornwall Transit bus and a Cornwall Police Service cruiser, sits on a side street next to The Care Centre in this July 2020 file photo. The paralegal for the owners of the facility says the building has hot water after the City of Cornwall disconnected the service on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The paralegal for the co-owners of The Care Centre says the facility is still providing hot water even after the City of Cornwall shut off the service contracted through Cornwall District Heating this morning (Monday).

“Nobody is struggling at The Care Centre. The vital services continue to be provided. It will be provided,” John Robinson told Cornwall Newswatch Monday afternoon. “The city had to do, what they had to do.”

Today was the self-imposed deadline the city said it would extend hot water and heat to the facility at 410 Second Street East after Cornwall District Heating cut the service June 10 in the middle of a contract dispute with the owners, forcing the City of Cornwall to take control and reconnect the service.

“There’s hot water and there is not going to be any disruption to the vital service,” Robinson told Newswatch. “There is no issue at all. The Care Centre is providing the hot water with its own existing systems.”

As for the new Enbridge natural gas-fired boiler system, Robinson says that’s a “few weeks away” from being online as it still needs the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) approval for grant eligibility.

“In the meantime, they’re going to use the existing hot water system that was always there. The boiler will be a different heat source and there’s an application for a permit for the boiler system going in,” Robinson said.

Cornwall Planning General Manager Mark Boileau is aware of the situation and Matthew Cinnamon, one of the co-owners, has been sending information to the city, he said.

During last week’s council meeting, Acting Chief Building Official Charles Bray said that a change in the boiler system would need a building permit and there had been no application for one.

Robinson said they are going to put the application in tomorrow (Tuesday) as a “gesture of good faith,” considering building permits for other projects have been rejected by the City of Cornwall in the past, Robinson explained.

It’s believed the permits were turned down because the City of Cornwall and The Care Centre are in a long-fought legal case on the change of use designation for the building, which is currently under appeal. A decision on appeal is expected any day.

The City of Cornwall continues to have its Cornwall Command Center vehicle on a side street next to The Care Centre with members of the social services department along with a Cornwall Police Service auxiliary officer there to speak with tenants if they are looking for help. They were there today and will be there again tomorrow (Aug. 18) and Thursday (Aug. 20).

It’s believed there are about 45 residents at the facility, which offers affordable lodging for seniors with an average rent of $1,447 a month.

A call to Mark Boileau’s office requesting comment was met with a voicemail message indicating that Boileau would be out of the office until next Monday (Aug. 24).