St. Cle­ments pic­nic shel­ter to get ac­ces­si­bilty ramp as coun­cil ap­proves fund­ing

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - VERON­ICA REINER

A NEW PIC­NIC SHEL­TER in St. Cle­ments Lions Park will in­clude an ac­ces­si­bil­ity ramp, as Wellesley coun­cil this week ap­proved con­tribut­ing $4,500 to the project.

The town­ship will draw on a re­serve fund set up un­der the aus­pices of its in­volve­ment with the Grand River Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (GRAAC). The over­all project is be­ing co­or­di­nated by the Par­adise Dis­trict and Lions Club.

“As a small club, we’ve in­vested quite a bit into this park over the last cou­ple years,” club mem­ber Kim Lorentz told coun­cil­lors Tues­day night. “The cur­rent build is ap­prox­i­mately $51,000. With the pre­vi­ous equip­ment that we’ve put into the park, we’re very quickly ap­proach­ing $100,000 as a com­mu­nity build. Some very big spon­sors in the lo­cal com­mu­nity have helped us with that.”

In­deed, the orig­i­nal pic­nic shel­ter struc­ture was de­mol­ished and re­placed with a new struc­ture im­me­di­ately south of the for­mer lo­ca­tion, priced at $50,000. That project was ap­proved by coun­cil in May. The ren­o­va­tion of the park has been an on­go­ing project for the Lions Club.

“We’re at sort of a crux in our build,” Lorentz con­tin­ued. “We could prob­a­bly gray the new slab out on the ex­ist­ing park and make it very pretty, nice and even. But it would limit the ac­ces­si­bil­ity for the over­all com­mu­nity. This ris­ing side­walk opens that up to the over­all com­mu­nity no mat­ter what the chal­lenges might be for that per­son.”

The GRAAC re­serve has a bal­ance of $41,141.89, which will suf­fi­ciently cover the cost, and are also ex­plor­ing grant op­por­tu­ni­ties if avail­able.

In ap­prov­ing the ramp project, coun­cil’s goal is to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity for all mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“We have seen an op­por­tu­nity where we can im­prove the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the new pic­nic struc­ture to the over­all com­mu­nity,” added Lorentz.

Con­cerns about the project, raised at coun­cil’s Septem­ber 28 meet­ing, are in the process of be­ing ad­dressed. They in­clude

grad­ing at the site, which will be com­pleted by town­ship re­cre­ation staff af­ter the project is fin­ished, and how to tran­si­tion the new build to the old ce­ment pad in or­der the meet pro­vin­cial ac­ces­si­bil­ity re­quire­ments. Or­ga­niz­ers have en­sured that the project would meet th­ese reg­u­la­tions.

The ramp will ex­tend from the new struc­ture down to the ce­ment pad where the orig­i­nal struc­ture used to be.

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