St. Clair Township looking at making more space for staff

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St. Clair Township might expand it’s civic centre.

Council has given staff approval to look at some options because several employees have no place to do their work at the Emily St. complex.

In a report to council, CAO John Roddy says the building was constructed in 1990 for the Moore Township staff. Two people from Sombra Township moved in after amalgamation.
Then, St. Clair took over 12 parks from the St. Clair Parkway Commission as it closed in 2006.

Roddy says St. Clair also added people to the public works staff after the province changed the requirements for water and wastewater treatment.

The extra employees led the township to hire a human resources coordinator to handle the staff and the health and safety requirements in the building.

“At the present time, we have no space available to accommodate our new HR Coordinator who is currently using the mayor’s office,” says Roddy in his report.

An IT consultant who is in the office most of the week also doesn’t have a desk.
It’s estimated up to 60 people work at the Civic Centre.

Roddy says during the pandemic, it became clear that staff are not always able to be two meters apart to work.

Council has asked staff to explore the issue. Some of the options are expanding the office. It already has the rough drawings for a 4,200 square foot addition that was contemplated when St. Clair was opening an OPP station in the community. Instead, the township purchased a former call centre which is now the emergency services building.

Mayor Steve Arnold says there is still space on the second floor of that building and staff are being asked to look at the possibilities of renovating that for office space. That report is likely to be discussed during the 2022 budget.

Meantime, Roddy is looking to make minor modifications for two staff spaces.
He also suggested the township might consider a portable building next to the building to provide the space needed.