Americans with Disabililties plan headed for vote in South Bend
PHOTO: Carlos Martinez@flickr (January 8, 2013)
SOUTH BEND — The Board of Public Works voted 5-0 on Tuesday in favor of the city’s proposed Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan, forwarding the 25-page document on to the Common Council for a public hearing and possible vote Jan. 28.
Developed by the city in coordination with the Michiana Area Council of Governments, or MACOG, the plan describes how the city intends to comply with the ADA in the public right of way.
The plan identifies locations in the right of way that do not comply with the ADA and then assigns a priority to those locations — high, moderate or low — based on the type of facility they serve, with government services buildings at the top of the list.
The city is also in the process of assessing its buildings and programs for ADA compliance, which will be described in a later transition plan or in a later addendum to the current plan.
In presenting the plan to the board today, interim City Attorney Aladean DeRose, the city's ADA coordinator, described it as "blueprint" for how the city intends to address the issue of ADA compliance in the public right of way.
DeRose noted the plan identifies 36 locations in the city that serve government services buildings, such as County-City Building, that are not currently ADA compliant. She said modifying those locations to achieve compliance is a high priority for the city.
"As in every city, we do not have 100 percent compliance," DeRose said, noting that many of the city’s streets, sidewalks, curbs and crosswalks were constructed before 1990, when the ADA was enacted.
Board member Gary Gilot, the city's former director of Public Works and a current consultant to the city, said, "This transition plan takes us from the current state to the desired state over a period of time."
In other business, the board voted 4-0 to approve a professional services agreement between the city and Gilot to retain Gilot's services for a fixed period of time. Gilot abstained from the vote.
The agreement pays Gilot, who technically retired from city government in January 2012, $70 an hour for up to 500 hours, or about six months, of work, City Controller Mark Neal said.
A previous agreement between the city and Gilot, executed in June of last year, expired Jan. 1. Before that, Gilot had been donating his time to the city.