Mayor Jeff Genung pressed home the need for the Big Hill Lodge to be replaced with a new facility for Cochrane seniors.

Genung's meeting with Seniors and Housing minister Josephine Pon was one of three with Alberta cabinet ministers.during the recent Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention.

Pon had previously toured the seniors home with Mayor Genung, and he wanted to reinforce the need for the assisted living facility to be replaced.

"We highlighted with the ministers the state of that facility, the age of that facilities, and then the really blatantly extremely poor conditions that our seniors are living in there.

"She was aware of that, having already taken a tour, but we requested the province fund the construction of a new Big Hill Lodge in Cochrane."

Early in tri-site public land discussions, it was thought a new Big Hill Lodge would be one of the first urban renewal projects completed in Cochrane's downtown core. It was proposed to be included in the repurposing of some of land in the Lions Club Rodeo Park on 5th Ave.

A  number of new and updated senior housing projects have been announced in recent months by the Alberta government as part of its recovery plan. In addition, the federal government has been unrolling its National Housing Strategy that includes creating housing for seniors.

Few municipal leaders attended the AUMA convention in person. Discovering Alberta cabinet ministers would still be available for discussions, Genung and two administration members set shop in Calgary to meet with three of them to discussion issues of importance to Cochrane. Instead of the typical 20 minute meetings, they had the added latitude of more thorough discussions.

Genung met with Transportation minister Ric McIver on Cochrane highway projects for over an hour. Besides the town's number one priority of seeing ground broken on the Hwy. 1A-22 interchange project, Genung offered to work in partnership with the province on other highway projects within municipal boundaries.

He also invited McIver to the Oct. 15 open of the new Bow River bridge.

Along with other members of the mid-cities caucus, he also met with Alberta Municipal Affairs minister Tracy Allard.