Thinking of the future, Algonquin Highlands is looking at what to do with the Dorset Complex.

Earlier today, at the regular council meeting, Fire Chief Mike Cavanaugh presented some options for the future of the complex that houses the Dorset satellite office, the old Public Works garage and the fire station across the street in Lake of Bays.

Cavanaugh wanted to know council’s thoughts on how to proceed, saying that the building went up in 1978 and there is a concern of asbestos, small washrooms, and uninsulated walls causing the heat and hydro bills to go up.

According to Cavanaugh, another concern is the need for an environmental assessment to find out if contaminants leaked into the ground while the garage was there.

Cavanaugh gave two options to the council. Mayor Carol Moffatt pointed out to her fellow councillors that it is essentially a choice of modernizing and renovating the original site to address the needs or find another location and build there.

An idea pitched by Deputy Mayor Liz Danielson, “was why not do both?” Danielson suggested that the town look at moving the municipal staff and offices at the complex to a new location and convert the old location into some kind of public space or perhaps housing.

Another thought that Cavanaugh put into the minds of the councillors was adding a bay to wherever the site goes so that EMS could potentially use the space too. He noted that would not be a for sure thing, just something to consider.

The other thing that Cavanaugh wanted the councillors to think about was if they build a new location would that go on or off of the main street.

Moffatt, a veteran of Algonquin Highlands council, emphasized that the councillors at that table have been all for exploratory conversations.

It was decided that Cavanaugh do further research into an offsite build.