Council opts to discuss halls in closed session
Clearview councillor Thom Paterson tried to convince fellow council members to discuss community halls in open session Wednesday, but to no avail.
It is assumed the discussion was about how to proceed with accessibility renovations at six township owned halls that need work to make them compliant with standards required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
“I feel perfectly comfortable with this council discussing it and with the full view of the public,” said Paterson. “It really would make the next discussion with the hall boards so much easier if they heard the pros and cons and the thinking that went on with this council in terms of how to resolve this difficult situation. I would ask, do we need to go in-camera?”
Councillors held the in-camera session during a special council meeting to discuss a “Community Halls Review.” The reason for the closed session was, to form “a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board.”
“There very well could be some discussions and some negotiations with some local hall boards,” said clerk Pamela Fettes, adding that staff saw this as an opportunity for council to have a discussion amongst themselves to get on the same page before presenting their thoughts to the hall boards.
“Any decisions that are made would be made in a public forum,” said Fettes.
Clearview council is opening a new round of discussions about making the municipality’s community-run halls fully accessible.
Council received an updated engineer’s report in March estimating it would cost between $5.1 million and $8 million to renovate six halls – Avening, Sunnidale Corners, Nottawa, Duntroon, Brentwood and Dunedin – depending on the level of accessibility, including fees for architectural, engineering, and project management, as well as kitchen upgrades to become fire code compliant.
Council commissioned an update of a 2012 Hall Board Facility Assessment Report so it would have current figures. The 2012 report estimated a cost of $710,000 to make all six halls accessible.
Council was in-camera from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. At the end of the meeting, Mayor Doug Measures said the conversation would continue with the hall boards, and that a meeting date would be set.