2003 Municipal Accessibility Compliance Report

Summary

The Ontario Disability Act (Bill 125) requires that Municipalities prepare an accessibility plan annually and consult with persons with disabilities. The accessibility plan shall address the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities. This is to be accomplished thru the Municipalities by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services.

This is the first accessibility plan completed by the Municipality. This report provides a baseline of the measures taken in the past and identifies what measures need to be addressed in the future. The inspection and report was conducted by staff.

Laurentian Valley Township Demographics

Laurentian Valley Township was formed by the amalgamation of the former Townships of Stafford-Pembroke and Alice & Fraser on January 1, 2000. The Municipality boasts a population of 8,843 residents, with 3,539 households. The Township of Laurentian Valley surrounds the City of Pembroke and is south of the Town of Petawawa.

Land uses range from rural residential and farming properties on private water and on-site sewage disposal systems to suburban and residential and highway commercial on municipal water and sewer. There are several blocks of industrial properties in the municipality and regionally significant mineral aggregate resources. The Township has approximately 20 kilometres of Ottawa River frontage.

The Municipality has six significant properties with structures; the Municipal Office, Stafford Works Garage, Tri-Township Fire Hall and three Recreational complexes

Council Commitment to Accessibility Planning

The Council of the Corporation of the Township of Laurentian Valley is committed to the continuous improvement of access to all municipally owned facilities, premises and services for all those with disabilities.

Council has instructed the Chief Administrative Officer to conduct an audit and prepare an accessibility plan to meet these commitments.

Baseline Audit

Information Services
The Municipal web site is disabled accessible. It is in text only format which allows the visually impaired to use web reading software to navigate the site and read the graphics.

By-laws
The Municipality passed a Disabled Parking By-law No 03-03-167 in March 2003. Shortform wording has been approved by the Crown. The set fine is $300.00 as required by the province. Disabled parking and access are considered when planning new developments.

The Building Department has enforced Section 3.8 (formerly 3.7 the accessibility portion) since its introduction into the Ontario Building Code.

Municipal Buildings

On September 9, 2003 staff completed a Part 3.8 Building Code audit of the Municipally owned buildings. The audit was conducted to assess the existing compliance of the Municipal buildings and properties to the standards. Although the newer buildings comply with the existing standards there were noted improvements that could be made. Numerous barriers were identified in the older facilities which will require remedial work to remove. These barriers will be discussed further in this document under Barriers Identified.

Transportation & Roads
The Municipality does not provide mass transit and has very few sidewalks. However there are a couple of areas in the Stafford built up area that are signed to caution traffic for local persons. This signing has been done on a request basis in the past.

The Municipality does subsidize the Friends of the Disabled on their expense of operating Pembroke Handi-bus.

Barriers Identified

Municipal staff conducted an audit of Municipal properties and buildings on September 9, 2003. The following chart gives a list of deficiencies identified and the strategy for their removal.

Laurentian Valley Municipal Office
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
Parking spaces are painted but the spots are not signed Architectural instal the signs that have already been ordered and delivered
No sign on mens washroom identifying it as accessible Architectural order and instal sign

 

Stafford Works Garage
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
Parking spaces are not painted and signed Architectural Paint lines for parking and instal signs
There is a 1" bump at door threshold. Architectural Repair asphalt at door and review options for different threshold type when renovating building.
There is no barrier free accessible washroom in this building. Architectural If and when this building is renovated it will have to be redesigned to accommodate an accessible washroom.
Office area not accessible from reception Architectural Counter size will have to be reduced and lowered.
Lunchroom, shop area not accessible Architectural redesign layout to provide a route to the lunchroom and shop area.

 

Tri Township Fire Hall
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
Parking spaces are not painted and signed Architectural Paint lines for parking and instal signs
There is a 1" bump at door threshold. Architectural Repair concrete walkway at door.
Waste receptacle blocks access to water closet in the womens washroom. Physical relocate the waste bin.
Hand dryers are too high in both washrooms Physical relocate dryers lower
mirrors are too high Architectural lower the mirrors

 

Shady Nook Recreation Center
Size & Use of this building requires a power door operator Architectural Search for grants to instal a power door operator.
No assistive listening devices available Architectural Search for grants to instal a sound system.
Mirrors in handicap bathroom are a little high Physical Lower the mirror to the required height.
Only one side grab bar provided Physical Instal grab bar at rear of water closet as required.

 

Stafford Recreation Center
Paved parking lot, no reserved handicap parking and signs. Architectural Paint lines for parking and instal signs
Was not able to access interior, doors were locked.
 
The interior will have to be reviewed as soon as possible.

 

Alice & Fraser Rec Center
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural Order and sign some parking spaces.
Main door has 6" step up second door has 4" step up Physical Design and instal a sidewalk with level entry at main door.
Was not able to access interior, doors were locked.
 
The interior will have to be reviewed as soon as the main entrance is made accessible.

 

Micksburg Seniors Center
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural Order and sign some parking spaces.
Ramp is not accessible from road side. Physical Regrade the parking lot to allow level entry onto the pad before the ramp
Front door has a twist knob Physical The interior will have to be reviewed as soon as possible.
Was not able to access interior, doors were locked.
 
The interior will have to be reviewed as soon as the main entrance is made accessible.
Barriers to be addressed in 2004

Information Services
The Municipality will consult with the visually impaired when format changes to the web site, tax bills and notices are contemplated.

By-laws
The Municipality will have the planner review the proposed new zoning by-law for compliance with the Ontario Disabilities Act.

Municipal Buildings
Staff will be instructed to remedy the parking and access issues at the Municipal Buildings in 2004. Estimates will be sought to design and renovate the Stafford Works Garage to accommodate the disabled. The Fire Department will be instructed to correct the minor physical barriers found during the audit.

The recreation facilities are managed by arms length committees. The Municipality will advise them of their obligations under the Ontario Disabilities Act and the deficiencies found during the audit. The recreation associations will be requested to file updates on their progress to making the facilities accessible in their yearly reports to Council.

Review and Monitoring
Council is committed to following through with this plan. This plan will be created annually to allow Council, staff and the public to monitor the progress the Municipality is making to remove all barriers under the Ontarians With Disabilities Act.

Communication
This report will be made available on the Municipal web site as well as the Municipal Office. The report will also be circulated to the local groups that deal with the disabled for their review and comments.