Jake Martens

Elevator proposed for city hall

City council has been asked to spend $100,000 to install an elevator at city hall to make the building fully accessible.

City council has been asked to spend $100,000 to install an elevator at city hall to make the building fully accessible.

The money would come from the Land Sale Reserve Fund and would help with an accessibility fund the city has applied for.

Port Alberni City Hall was built in 1959 during a period when providing disability access was not a part of the primary building consideration.

“The split level design of our facility has challenged us in order to provide that sort of access,” Jake Martens, deputy city clerk for the City of Port Alberni, told council at a July 11 meeting.

“We have many people come to city hall either in wheelchairs or with strollers or general mobility issues who struggle to gain access to this building.”

City staff have identified a grant opportunity through the Enabling Accessibility Fund that would cover part of the cost of installation.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund is a federal grants and contributions program that supports capital costs of construction and renovations related to improving physical accessibility and safety for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces.

“This grant has not been available for a number of years. For whatever reason, it’s now available so we’re just bringing this request forward, but ideally it would come through the budget process,” Martens said.

The deadline for grant applications is July 26.

“We’re requesting your commitment to advance the grant application and make that commitment from the Land Sale Reserve Fund,” Martens said.

There is currently $190,000 unobstructed in the Land Sale Reserve Fund and Martens said an exact quote on how much installation would cost is still pending.

The elevator is envisioned to be installed in the front foyer at city hall, occupying half a stairwell and taking over a utility closet upstairs.

“During the property tax time there were quite a number of people who were challenged trying to get into city hall to pay their taxes and it was difficult to watch that,” Mayor Mike Ruttan said.

Councillor Ron Paulson added that spending $100,000 on installing an elevator would take that money away from going towards something else, to which Ruttan responded by saying the city shouldn’t “balance the book” on the backs of those who are disabled.

“I also want for us to remember that we made a commitment in terms of the $250,000 keeping it reserved in the event that we have to buy back the plywood site,” Ruttan said. “It all fits in that big jigsaw we call a budget so I’m sure we can make it fit.”

 

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

 

 

Just Posted

Portal Players Looking for love onstage in Port Alberni

Newcomers bring fun Norm Foster play to life for short run

Alberni boys win 20th consecutive Island Wrestling Championships

Alberni District Secondary School boys finished with 69 points

Juno-nominated Indigenous hip-hop duo to play in Port Alberni

Snotty Nose Rez Kids will be at the Kingsway Pub on Saturday, Feb. 23

Coldest Night of the Year event brings attention to plight of the homeless

Port Alberni teams prepare to walk one of three routes and raise funds too

Alberni Armada girls a surprise contender at Vancouver Island high school basketball championships

The Alberni Armada senior girls’ basketball team is going somewhere they never… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Most Read