/Renovations to make county office more accessible 

Renovations to make county office more accessible 

By Chad Ingram

Published Aug. 30 2016

Haliburton County will embark on a series of renovations to its administration building on Newcastle Street in Minden designed to make the facility more accessible.

“For starters we intend to open up a new reception area” county engineering summer student Jordan Howe told county councillors as he presented the plans during an Aug. 24 meeting.

Social services for the county previously located in the Newcastle Street building were recently relocated to Haliburton Village freeing up space on the building’s main floor.

The plan is to open up the front entrance creating a passageway that will lead to a new reception area complete with a counter that will accommodate both standing and seated visitors.

A small meeting area information board area and a more direct route to the elevator through the reception area will also be provided.

Upstairs the biggest change will be transforming the existing male and female washrooms into two single-use gender-neutral accessible washrooms complete with power buttons for automated closing.

There will also be a reconfiguring of the lunchroom area and if there’s enough money left in the project’s $100000 budget new carpeting chairs and paint may also be included for some parts of the building.

Chief administrative officer Mike Rutter also told councillors that use of the building’s public-access computers has dropped dramatically since social services left the building and that data would be provided to council so it could make a decision about the machines.

Some staff quarters will also be rearranged including moving those employees most frequently visited by members of the public close to entrances.

Rutter estimated that 90 per cent of visitors to the building are there to see either planning or public works staff.