2007 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, prevention and removal of barriers to persons with disabilities. This is to be accomplished through the by-laws, policies, programs, practices and services of the Municipality.

This is the third accessibility plan completed by the Municipality. This report provides a baseline of the accessibility measures taken in the past, what barriers where removed since 2005 and identifies what measures need to be addressed in 2008 and the future. The inspections and report were conducted by municipal 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 9,265 residents, with 3,769 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 seven significant properties with structures; the Municipal Office, Stafford Works Garage, Laurentian Valley Fire Hall, Micksburg Seniors Center 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 the audits and prepare the accessibility plan to meet these commitments.

Baseline Audit

Information Services

The Municipal web site is mostly disabled accessible. It is in a text only format which allows the visually impaired to use web reading software to navigate the site and read the graphics. There is however an increasing use of adobe formatted documents which is more convenient for staff but not as accessible.

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 an initial Part 3.8 Building Code audit of the Municipally owned buildings and a follow up inspections were completed on August 19, 2004 and August 21, 2007. The audits were 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 now provides limited mass transit in the Stafford built up area. There are very few sidewalks in the Municipality. There are a couple of areas in the Municipality that are signed to caution traffic for local disabled 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 a follow up audit of Municipal properties and buildings on August 21, 2007. The following chart gives a list of deficiencies identified and the strategy for their removal.

 

Laurentian Valley Municipal Office
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
None identified
 

 


Highway 41 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.
Lunchroom, shop area not accessible Architectural redesign layout to provide a route to the lunchroom and shop area.


Stafford Recreation Center
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
Paved parking lot, no reserved handicap parking and signs. Architectural Paint lines for parking and instal signs
The washrooms are not signed as being accessible. Architectural Municipal Staff to locate a supplier and obtain proper signs for all Municipal buildings.
Door knobs are round twist type. Architectural When replacing door hardware, lever type hardware is to be specified.
Faucet handles are round type. Architectural When replacing faucets, lever type hardware is to be specified.


Shady Nook Recreation Center
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
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.


Laurentian Valey 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


Alice & Fraser Rec Center
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural Order and sign some parking spaces, instal a paved parking area.
Main door has 6" step up second door has 4" step up, second door has a 4" step up. Physical Design and instal a sidewalk with level entry at main door.
No access to the second storey - bar and dance hall. Physical
 
The barrier free washroom for the men has only 27.5 inches between the water closet wall and the counter top. Physical & Architectural Redesign and renovate this area to allow wheelchair access.


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 Change entry handle to lever type.
The washrooms are totally inaccessible in all respects. Physical & Architectural It will require a major renovation and possibly an addition to make room for handicap accessible washroom facilities.

Barriers addressed since 2004

Information Services

The Municipality has made no format changes to the web site, tax bills and other notices. The 2004 report was made available on-line and at the front counter of the Municipal Office.

By-laws

The planner is reviewing the draft Zoning by-law for compliance with the Ontario Disabilities Act in so far as the Planning Act permits. A section will be added to the general provisions section to address site-planning for disabled parking and building access in new developments.

Municipal Buildings

Laurentian Valley Municipal Office
Barrier Type Status
Parking spaces are painted but the spots are not signed Architectural Completed - signs installed.
No sign on mens washroom identifying it as accessible Architectural Completed - sign installed

Highway 41 Works Garage

No barriers were removed, the shop area of the building is currently used by the Works Department. The front office and boardroom area are leased to Snow Country.

 

Laurentian Valley Fire Hall
Barrier Type Status
Parking spaces are not painted and signed Architectural This parking lot will be included in the 2008 tender to paint lines for parking and instal signs.
There is a 1" bump at door threshold. Architectural Pending.
Waste receptacle blocks access to water closet in the womens washroom. Physical Investigating alternative location for the waste bin.
Hand dryers are too high in both washrooms Physical relocate dryers lower
mirrors are too high Architectural lower the mirrors


Stafford Recreation Center
Barrier Type Status
Paved parking lot, no reserved handicap parking and signs. Architectural two spaces have been signed for handicap parking.
The washrooms are not signed as being accessible. Architectural Municipal Staff to locate a supplier and obtain proper signs for all Municipal buildings.
Door knobs are round twist type. Architectural Pending.
Faucet handles are round type. Architectural Pending.


Shady Nook Recreation Center
Barrier Type Strategy for removal
Size & Use of this building requires a power door operator Architectural Completed in 2005.
No assistive listening devices available Architectural Completed in May of 2004.
Mirrors in handicap bathroom are a little high. Physical Completed in 2005.
Only one side grab bar provided Physical Completed in 2005.


Alice & Fraser Recreation Center
Barrier Type Status
Gravel parking lot, no signed spaces Architectural Order and sign some parking spaces, install a paved parking area.
Main door has a 6" step up, second door has a 4" step up Physical Design and instal a sidewalk with level entry at main door.
No access to the second storey - bar & dance hall. Physical Estimates have been obtained, however costs are prohibitive.
The barrier free washroom for men has only 27 1/2" between the water closet wall and the counter top. Physical & Architectural Redesign and renovate this area to allow wheelchair access.

Micksburg Seniors Center

No work has been undertaken to resolve the accessibility deficiencies. Council will have to make a decision on whether the Municipality will upgrade the building or dispose of this property. It is an older structure that will require extensive renovations and possibly an addition to make it accessible. Then there is the issue of the work required to bring the well and water system into compliance with the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act. It may be cost prohibitive to bring this facility into compliance for the limited number of residents who use this facility.

Barriers to be addressed in 2008

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 enure that the new Zoning by-law complies with the Ontario Disabilities Act in so far as the Planning Act permits. Council will consider the Ontario Disability Act when reviewing new development proposals.

Municipal Buildings

Staff will be instructed to include the other Municipal properties and Recreational complexes in any tenders for parking lot painting and signing in 2008. Estimates will be sought to design and renovate the Stafford Works Garage and the Micksburg Seniors Center to accommodate the disabled, so Council can make decisions on the fate of these properties.

The recreation facilities are managed by arms length committees. The Municipality has advised 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 updated 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.