by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The North Grenville Municipal Centre is going to be renovated this fall in order to permanently relocate the reception area to the first floor. The Municipality was successful in obtaining $100,000 in funding for the project under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: COVID‑19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.
Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Mark Guy explained “When the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic began in March 2020, the safety of municipal staff and the public were of the most concern. Initially, the Municipal Centre was closed. But before reopening, the senior management team made the decision to temporarily move the reception area to the first floor of the Municipal Centre for the safety of staff and the public. Since then, having the reception area on the main floor has been met with positive response by staff and the public, therefore the decision was made to permanently relocate the reception area to the main floor.”
In October 2020, the Province of Ontario announced $250 million dollar funding for grants in the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Municipality was successful in its application. In order to receive the grant, it was necessary for Council to pass a by‑law in order to enter a Transfer Payment Agreement. This was resolved at the Council meeting of September 7.
Mayor Nancy Peckford said “The impact [of this project] speaks for itself in terms of the degree of accessibility, people not having to confront a big stairwell or an elevator around the corner.” Not only will the renovations help with accessibility, but they serve to solve another problem too. “I think this is a very good idea,” explained Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan, “we were outgrowing the space we had for administration and office space. This has really resolved that.”
The renovations are currently in the detailed design phase, and hopes are high that the project will be completed by the end of the year.