Angst over pricey plans to make city council chambers more accessible to disabled users prompted a city committee yesterday to call for the list to be prioritized.
Aldermen on the city’s land and asset strategy committee spent hours debating some $2 million worth of proposed improvements for the chamber, which is used almost exclusively for bi-monthly council meetings.
Concerns were raised despite the funding’s approval in last November’s budget talks, leaving Ald. Brian Pincott asking why his colleagues are micromanaging something to which they’ve already agreed.
“There’s a list of 15 things we wanted to do as part of a budget that has already been approved but certain members of council seem to want to micromanage things,” he said.
“This is something we need to pull out all the stops for.”
But Ald. Andre Chabot said the plan seems to reach beyond what is required to make council chambers work for everybody.
He noted plans to spend $550,000 to raise the pit where city clerks sit instead of merely installing a ramp and outfitting all 14 council berths, as well as the mayor’s, to accommodate the disabled for around $400,000 make no sense.
Concerns were also raised about spending $100,000 to replace the existing beige carpeting with a colour that is more easily seen by those with impaired vision.
“We’re going too far with this accessibility thing,” Chabot said.
The priority list will return to committee next month.
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