1. Background Information

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The Township of East Zorra-Tavistock has been examining options to address growing facility constraints.  Council is now meeting in the Oxford County Council Chambers in Woodstock so space at the Hickson Office can be repurposed until a long-term solution is found.
The Hickson Municipal Office was built in 1970, with a renovation in 1998.  While the renovation created improvements and additional space, increasing demands, changing accessibility requirements, growth and increased expectations are leading to the need to examine options for the future.  Significant constraints have been identified with the Hickson Municipal Office.  They include:
  • Accessibility – only the upper level is accessible by an outside ramp, while public facing municipal services are provided on both levels- moving all public facing services to the upper level is not possible - increasing freeze/thaw cycles in the winter have been causing significant maintenance and safety issues on the ramp
  • Storage Space – running out of space for storage, while a lot of information is now digital, the Township is required to maintain a significant amount of hardcopy documents and records – a significant amount of storage is in the basement
  • Council moved to Oxford County Council Chambers to repurpose the Council Chamber space in the office – this is being used for a meeting room and Treasury Department space
  • Water / Wastewater – the septic system is in need of replacement and the water supply comes from neighbour – water regulations are making this arrangement more difficult for the Township and neighbour
  • While the office can run on a portable trailer generator, there is no water available during power outage (due to water coming from the neighbour) and the generator will not run air conditioning in the summer
  • On-site Standby Generator – an electrical generator needed for power outage, but holding off until there is a plan for the office - current expectations are that water and electricity should be available at all times
  • Office Space – need for improved privacy and security for some office functions (improved privacy for discussion of taxation matters, personal items, human resources, etc.), work stations are in poor locations (ie. next to copier), staff have been doubled up in some offices
  • Meeting space requirements – appropriate space depending on the meeting (ie. Council, staff meetings, etc)
  • Interior maintenance is required throughout the office - very little has been completed since 1998 – carpet replacement, paint all areas, proper wiring/networking to areas now being used for office space, improved ventilation for storage
  • Address HVAC problems – difficulty maintaining appropriate temperatures and humidity between upstairs/downstairs
  • Parking lot improvements will be required in several years
Council has been exploring this matter over the last two years.  Extensive background information, reports and analysis has been provided to Council.  This started with a Council/Staff/Community Committee reviewing current issues and recommending a possible course of action.  Council also obtained concepts for renovations to the existing office facility and expressions of interest to provide leased space.  High level costing for these options and building new were also developed.  At this point, Council wants to hear from you.  What are your thoughts and suggestions for Council to move forward with this matter?  Obviously all options will have costs, but there is also the opportunity for improved accessibility, service and efficiency.  All information that Council has considered is available for review.  It can be obtained from the Township website or upon request from the Hickson Office. You are encouraged to read this information and provide your thoughts.</

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