The Town of High River has taken over operations of the Charles Clark Medical Centre.

Originally it was owned and operated by the Town, Foothills County, and a consortium of doctors known as Charles Clark Medical Centre Ltd.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass says the three-way split worked at the beginning, but it had become difficult to manage.

He says, originally, the doctors were going acquire ownership of the building at some point in the future.

"What today's doctors are asking for is not ownership in a facility like that, they want to be a little more flexible and not be paying directly for ownership, they prefer to pay their rent, do their business and go home. 

"Foothills County had always held the debenture, the loan for the actual construction of the facility and CCMC would pay that debenture back through all the tenants. As great as these three-way partnerships sound when they start, they can become difficult, so that's why we took over the debenture from Foothills County, it was a mutual agreement that that happened, and so last year the Town of High River took over the loan and Foothills County was out of the deal at that point," Snodgrass explained.

He says now the Town has purchased the CCMC share from the doctors.

Basically, Mayor Snodgrass says it means tenants will pay their rent directly to the Town and the town will pay down the debenture.

He says it's a good deal for the town and the community.

"It's a good business move for the Town but it's also a very good avenue for us to make our commitment to securing long-term health care. The bigger issue is with securing doctors, we can do this, and we can have some control over a few things, but the bigger issue is still with our provincial government and how they're compensating our doctors.

"We'll continue our lobbying efforts with the Alberta government to make sure doctors want to local to the Alberta and High River."

He says operations in the building won't be affected by the Town's takeover.

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