Merrickville-Wolford council discussed the potential of another barrier-free washroom in the Village at the council meeting last Monday night. The washroom they discussed is in the rink house by the skating rink, near the Municipal Centre and Community Centre in town. The washroom is already operational throughout the skating season, but is not fully accessible. In a report presented to council, Chief Building Official, Randy Wilkinson, estimates that it would cost the Municipality roughly $13,000 to make it completely barrier-free.
As this sum of money is not currently in the municipal budget, council voted to have the report sent to the Economic Development Committee, which they have charged with taking on the task of assessing the public washroom issue in Merrickville. Councillor Chuck McGuiness did mention, however, that the washroom’s proximity to other operational washrooms in the Community Centre and the Municipal Centre may not make it the most sensible option to solve Merrickville’s Public Washroom issue. It is also quite a way off the main drag of Saint Lawrence Street, where the washrooms are thought to be most needed.
Even though council has not decided to go ahead with the renovations at this time, they did direct staff to leave the rink house open as is, as a washroom for the public during the spring and summer months. In previous years, the rink house has been closed when the rink isn’t in operation. “It’s an asset that we should be making use of,” said Deputy Mayor Ann Barr at the meeting.