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Tignish Health Co-op eyes expansion after financially successful year

Crystal Matheson, second right, owner of Bob’s Pharmacy, views a floor plan for a proposed expansion to the Tignish Health Co-op Centre with, from left, Judy Morrissey-Richard, president; Wendy Arsenault, manager, and Wayne Ellsworth, vice-president of the health co-operative. The expansion would provide the pharmacy with new store frontage and open up for the health centre space for new services in the pharmacy’s current space.
Crystal Matheson, second right, owner of Bob’s Pharmacy, views a floor plan for a proposed expansion to the Tignish Health Co-op Centre with, from left, Judy Morrissey-Richard, president; Wendy Arsenault, manager, and Wayne Ellsworth, vice-president of the health co-operative. The expansion would provide the pharmacy with new store frontage and open up for the health centre space for new services in the pharmacy’s current space.

TIGNISH, P.E.I. - The president of the Board of Directors of the Tignish Health Co-operative Association served notice this week that the co-operative is seriously entertaining a request for a major expansion to their health centre.

Judy Morrissey-Richard said the owners of Bob’s Pharmacy have expressed interest in having a store frontage, and the co-operative is considering the request.

She made the announcement during the co-operative’s annual meeting and promised a meeting of membership once a proposal is finalized.

Crystal Matheson said she’s been requesting store frontage ever since she started working at Bob’s Pharmacy. Now the co-owner of the business with her husband, Scott, she is excited about the prospect of it finally happening.

“I’m like this,” she said, displaying crossed fingers on both hands.

Bob’s Pharmacy occupies a 30-by-50-foot section at the rear of the health centre. The proposal calls for the pharmacy to occupy a new 40-by-50-foot section to be added to the rear wing. Though still at the rear of the building, the new construction would extend out beyond the front wing, thus providing store frontage.

The addition would allow for ground-level access from the new parking lot already planned for the facility. An interior ramp would provide wheelchair access between the new retail space and the existing building.

If the expansion goes ahead, Morrissey-Richard said the board believes the space currently occupied by the pharmacy could be converted into office space for other services, such as mental health.

Estimated cost for the expansion, she reported, would be around $350,000.

“It’s going to be a fundraising effort to some degree; a mortgage to some degree,” she said, adding the board also hopes for funding from the provincial government.

Noting the health co-op’s finances are currently in good shape, she stressed, “We’ve been pinching every dime to get to where we’re at.”

The co-op showed a surplus of $77,896 for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, compared with a $2,478 deficit the previous year.

Payment for the parking lot extension, started last year, is still outstanding.

Morrissey-Richard said the Co-op benefitted by $16,000 from the Tignish Legion and Fire Department’s Chase the Ace lottery as well as other donations. Fundraising proceeds grew by $11,000 from the previous year. Proceeds from the centre’s Bargain Basement also grew substantially from the previous year.

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