The Access and Age-Friendly Committee in Lake Country has helped the municipality provide leadership in improving accessibility.
The role of the AAFC is to advise council on issues pertaining to enhancing access to district services for people of all ages and abilities. The committee acts as a resource in identifying and suggesting solutions to gaps and barriers that impede full participation in all aspects of life in the community.
“The committee has made various recommendations to council on ways that municipal facilities and infrastructure could be improved to increase accessibility,” said Greg Buchholz, director of infrastructure services and staff liaison to the AAFC.
“Recommendations are either considered within the annual budget process, or where immediate cost-effective solutions can be implemented, action is taken as soon as staff time and resources can be allocated to the item or issue.”
In one case, the committee took a few photos of sidewalk concerns and provided them to the engineering director.
Before the photos could even be included on a council meeting agenda, the engineering staff fixed some of the deficiencies.
“It really highlighted to me the value of participating on a volunteer committee. Sometimes recommendations can’t be acted on immediately and that can be frustrating to someone who is volunteering time and energy to make their community better,” said Marie Molloy, AAFC chairperson.
“But I’ve been impressed with what has been accomplished by this small group of volunteers in conjunction with council and municipal staff within a reasonable timeframe and with public resources to benefit of everyone in the community.”