By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Some accessibility improvements will be coming to Town facilities in Coaldale.
During their regular Oct. 23 meeting, Coaldale town council discussed recommendations from a local accessibility group.
Founded in December 2020, Access Coaldale is a community group with the goal of improving accessibility within the town. They completed an audit of Town-owned buildings in 2021, identifying accessibility upgrades for infrastructure and facilities.
Upgrades were ranked in terms of overall importance with consideration based on location importance, improving functionality, promoting independence, convenience versus necessity and improving health and safety.
At the end of 2022, council approved the Access Coaldale – Accessibility Fund as part of the 2023-2025 Operating Projects budget.
“Based on the individual ranking of each of the features listed in the audit report, and the group discussions, the following accessibility projects were proposed by the group,” said Hailey Winder, senior planner for the Town.
The proposed projects for 2023-25 are, as follows:
• 2023: 1. Community Centre Interior Access ($7,400) 2. Coaldale Pool Main Entrance ($7,400) 3. Coaldale Library Emergency Exits ($1,800)
• 2024: 1. Curling Club Entrance through Community Centre ($7,400) 2. Coaldale Pool Changerooms and Change tables ($6,400) 3. Coaldale Pool Emergency Exits ($1,800)
• 2025: 1. Universal Washroom for Curling Club (TBD)
Winder cautioned council that the price estimates listed were calculated in 2021, and do not account for inflation or any other changes in cost, and may need to be recalculated.
Coun. Jacen Abrey asked if the 2023 projects were completed, to which Winder said no. This was a project she adopted when she started with the Town, and they are just getting to the finalized prioritization exercise.
“These are easy fixes, they’re quick fixes. For example, the interior access to the community centre is a universal push button, so that could be installed quite easily,” said Winder, saying they recommend the projects take place in the next few months. “It is a bit of a tight time frame, but after speaking with our operations and facilities personnel, we believe that this could be achievable within the 2023 year.”
Coun. Bill Chapman asked that if they installed an upgrade in a building, if they could reuse that upgrade in a new building, citing the ice arena.
“You can use equipment at any point in time, you just have to look at the lifespan, the warranties that are on it, things like that,” said Russ Tanner, director of recreation and community services for the Town. “Any piece of equipment installed in any facility certainly can be reused in a new facility.”
Council unanimously passed motion to accept the Access Coaldale Prioritization Exercise Summary Results as information; and to accept the proposed prioritization improvements for 2023, 2024 and 2025.