The Ranger Station Gallery on Rockwell Drive. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Extra $20K from Harrison for Ranger Station upgrades

Accessibility upgrades to the gallery cost significantly more than originally expected

The Ranger Station Gallery is getting another $20,000 for accessibility upgrades.

At Harrison council Monday (April 15), council voted to allocate an additional $20,000 in funds to the Ranger Station, in an attempt to make it more accessible for people with disabilities.

The station had already received $20,000 from the village to pay for a wider, power-operated door as well as a concrete ramp and accessible sidewalks. However, community services coordinator Rhonda Schell said the costs had gone up significantly since the estimates were obtained in 2017.

RELATED: Upgrades on the way for Harrison’s Ranger Station Gallery

“During the process of moving the project forward, we found out that the required improvements are broader in scope,” she said.

The additional $20,000 would come from the one-time increase $119,990 to the federal Gas Tax Fund. (This year, without the increase, the annual Gas Tax Fund payment would have been around $117,000.)

In general, council was supportive of the additional funds to support accessibility, although councillor Ray Hooper was strongly against using any more money to upgrade the building.

“The sooner we get shot of the Ranger Station, the better it’s going to be,” he said.

“How much money have we spent on this place in the last five years?” he continued. “We seem to be spending excess money on a place that’s going to continue bleeding us dry.”

After Hooper said his piece, mayor Leo Facio and councillors Samantha Piper and Michie Vidal all spoke in support of the accessibility upgrades.

“We’re behind the eight-ball on this, throughout our community,” Piper said. “It’s vital for a healthy community to have accessibility readily available, paramount and available to anyone who finds themselves needing it.”

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