Dilemma for daycare

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The daycare can’t afford the rent at the Legacy Centre. And the owners aren’t keen on an even bigger subsidy.
That’s the basic dilemma, outlined by Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman at the regional tri-council’s April 23 meeting.
The Legacy Centre was conceived as a partnership between five parties – town, M.D., Sawridge, Elks and daycare, with the Elks managing the building. The town has since taken over management. The daycare has been struggling to keep up its lease commitments as well, the situation aggravated by COVID.

The latest, Warman told his tri-council colleagues, is the daycare would like a 50 – 75 per cent further reduction in what it pays to lease its portion of the building. The 50 per cent decrease (one of three options presented) would add $60,000 to what the other parties have to come up with.

“I don’t know where that would come from,” Warman said.

Warman made it plain he doesn’t want the town to have to go it alone. All of the partners need to contribute to the solution, he said.

M.D. reeve Murray Kerik didn’t sound too keen on a further subsidy.

“How much money do we continue to put into this?” he asked. “There’s other options we’ve got to look at.”

Kerik didn’t elaborate on these other options, but one of them is certainly that the daycare looks for another location.

If that happens, the revenue from the space would be zero, unless another tenant or tenants could be found.

“Is there a demand for space in Slave Lake?” asked M.D. councillor Robert Esau.

“Not of that size,” said town councillor Julie Brandle.

“It’s going to be hard to come up with a solution that’s good for everybody,” said Sawridge chief Roland Twinn, adding that “daycare is important for economic development.”

The Legacy board was to meet with the daycare board on April 26 to further discuss the matter.

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