Mayor Jeff Genung has stressed the need to replace the Big Hill Lodge with seniors minister Jeremy Nixon.

Nixon, minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, was in town on a fact-finding visit yesterday organized by MLA Peter Guthrie (Jan. 23), who also participated, and got a first-hand look at the 45-year lodge that falls far short of current standards.

The foundation hasn't applied for funding for a new Big Hill Lodge as of yet, but Foundation Chair Susan Flowers hopes to focus on it after completing a seniors housing project in Airdrie

The town also needs to address what infrastructure will be necessary for the project to proceed.

Nixon has family in Cochrane and the mayor says he pulled on those heartstrings a little bit.

Genung says he said, "Is this a seniors facility that you would have your parents in, minister? I think we all know the answer to that without throwing anyone under the bus."

The mayor says they are working closely with the minister to see the lodge is replaced in addition to seeking other forms of provincial investment in Cochrane seniors.

"We don't have to tell our own community what our needs are, but it is dire at the Big Hill Lodge, and we are doing everything we can to move that conversation forward with Minister Nixon."

Genung stressed discussions on the need for a new lodge in any way reflect upon the exceptional care offered by the lodge's staff.

MLA Guthrie says Minister Nixon and himself found it to be a productive meeting.