CORNWALL, Ontario - At a meeting of the United Counties Council on Monday, March 20, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) explained that they would be reducing their office space in four of their locations.
"We are downsizing our offices to cut down on occupancy costs, but we are in no way reducing our services," said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the EOHU's Medical Officer of Health. "We will be investing more in mobile technology and I see this as us being in the community more rather than less."
The EOHU will be reducing its office space in Winchester, Alexandria, Hawkesbury and Rockland. Dr. Roumeliotis explained however, that the location of some of these offices will remain essentially the same.
"For instance, in Winchester we rent our space at the Winchester Hospital, we will still be doing that, we will just be asking for a smaller room," he said.
Mayor Eric Duncan, the Councillor for North Dundas, asked if these cuts will solve the cost issues coming from occupancy.
"Will you be looking for money in a year from now for money for a new building in Cornwall," he asked.
Dr. Roumeliotis said that the cost of building a new building would not fall on the counties.
"Our building in Cornwall is old, but I have good news," he said. "If we are building a new building, all of that money will be funded from the Ministry (of health). For the first time ever, the Health Unit's are being treated by the Ministry like hospitals."
It was then brought up that if the EOHU was looking for a new building, then maybe they should be looking to move to a new community entirely.
"If they serve all of SD&G, maybe they should move to a more central location for their main office, like Monkland or Finch," said Councillor Chris McDonell.
Councillor Duncan pointed out however, that the EOHU owns the land next to their current location on Pitt St. in Cornwall, so it would be unlikely that they would be looking for new real estate.