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The Elevator Committee at the Villa Aubin seniors residence, represented by chair Claudette Desjardins (standing), outlined their concerns to Pierre Guenette (DNSAAB housing manager), Joseph Bradbury (DNSAAB CAO), Dan Roveda (West Nipissing council representative on DNSSAB) and Ward 3 councillor Yvon Duhaime during a Feb. 8 meeting at the building. Mayor Joanne Savage was also in attendance, but was delayed as a result of the ice storm. The common room was packed with over 30 residents who have been lobbying for an elevator or lift for the two-story building.
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by Isabel Mosseler
The tenants of Villa Aubin seniors’ residence have been lobbying for an elevator or chair lift in their building for many years, but the idea can’t seem to get off the ground and when officials faced a group of frustrated residents on Friday, Feb. 8, the meeting was far from encouraging.
The residents had asked for the meeting with representatives from the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB), which owns their building, as well as municipal representatives over the issue of an elevator for the two-storey structure. Claudette Desjardins, speaking for the 30-plus residents present in the common room, welcomed Joseph Bradbury, CAO, and Pierre Guenette, Operations Manager of Housing Services for DNSSAB, who were there to listen to their concerns. Also on hand were WN Councillor Yvon Duhaime, the ward representative, Councillor Dan Roveda, the municipal representative on DNSSAB, and Mayor Joanne Savage.
Mrs. Desjardins stressed that their many requests and applications for an elevating device had been repeatedly been refused, even though they had scaled back their demands and been very patient. “We stopped asking for an elevator because it costs too much money and we’ve been refused too many times. What we really want is a lift for residents to be able to put their groceries in their homes. Lots of people cannot bring their things upstairs… a dumb waiter is illegal… an elevator costs an arm and a leg… We don’t want to wait much longer because people are getting older… We need a lift.” She said the residents’ committee has been working diligently for the past three years applying for grants, but because an elevator would require structural changes to the building, the cost was deemed too high, so the residents lowered their sights and a lift “will satisfy our needs.”
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