Paving on hold for medical centre 0
Owner of the Wilberforce Pharmacy, Kass Eshkour, approached Highlands East council about receiving additional funds to pave the centre's parking lot and make it wheelchair accessible. ANGELICA BLENICH/HALIBURTON COUNTY ECHO/QMI AGENCY
Highlands East council will not be providing funds to pave the parking lot of the medical centre, at least not at this time.
Kass Eshkour, owner of the centre and Wilberforce pharmacy, made a delegation to council at their Sept. 11 meeting requesting financial assistance to enhance accessibility to the building and pave the parking lot.
“At this point the building is not accessible,” said Eshkour. “People in wheelchairs can’t get in.”
He went on to explain he has to go outside to fill prescriptions to those who can’t get into the pharmacy.
Previously owned by the municipality, the building was bought by Eshkour in the spring of 2011 and has since been turned into a pharmacy.
Highlands East leases a portion of the building, with the hope of facilitating a medical centre there complete with physicians and a dentist.
While the municipality has already allocated $10,000 to pave a portion of the parking lot and landscape the exterior, Eshkour said he would need an additional $25,000 to pave the entire lot.
“The issue becomes the cost of getting equipment there and doing the work,” said Eshkour, adding if all the work was done at once it would be more economical.
Highlands East Reeve Dave Burton said the request put council in an awkward position.
“From what I see and what I’ve been told there’s no money left,” said Burton.
The reeve suggested the municipality look at fundraising the necessary funds.
Eshkour asked about waiting until the spring to do the paving, when the municipality might have more funding available and weather is more co-operative.
“If we do this we can explore grant options,” said Councillor Steve Kauffeldt.
Councillor Joan Barton asked how the municipality could ensure the building was wheelchair accessible in the meantime.
Eshkour suggested building a ramp, which could be paid for out of the $10,000 earmarked for outdoor improvements.
Council agreed to install a ramp and passed a resolution to apply for a stewardship grant for the paving, which would require recycled material being used.