The following are brief reports of items discussed during a July 21 meeting of Algonquin Highlands council.
Council will apply for a grant from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund to construct a new accessible playground at the Stanhope Park near the Algonquin Highlands township office along North Shore Road.
Under the regulations of the funding program grants can be up to a maximum of $50000 and 35 per cent of project costs must be covered by the applicant.
Parks rec and trails manager Chris Card presented councillors with a report and some drawings of playgrounds ranging in price from less than $30000 to more than $67000.
Councillors wondered what made the designs accessible. Card said features such as steering wheels or tic-tac-toe games that be accessed from the ground are considered accessible. Some designs also have transfer areas to get children with disabilities onto playground equipment. Others still have raised sandboxes that can be accessed almost like a desk for those in wheelchairs. There are also specialized swings available for children in wheelchairs.
“We’re trying to decorate a house before we’ve built the foundation” said Reeve Carol Moffatt as councillors discussed designs suggesting council could wait and see if it’s successful in its funding request and decide details at a later time.
Council voted to apply for the funding with a municipal upset limit of $25000. Treasurer Tammy McKelvey said the money could come from a variety of sources including some money left in the township’s accessibility reserves or also general park and rec reserves.
Council awarded a contract for the replacement of the air conditioning system at the Stanhope Firefigthers’ Community Centre to local business Kegel Heating and Cooling for $18820 plus taxes.
While three bids were received for the project parks rec and trails manager Chris Card said Kegel was the only bidder who met all the project requirements.
The budget for the project was $22000.