A public hearing on the LaGrange County ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transition plan was held during Tuesday morning’s county commissioners meeting, giving a look at what items would need to be done to bring county properties into compliance with the federal regulation.
The plan, presented by Bob Murphy, who is the county’s ADA coordinator, and Dennis Cobb of First Group Engineering of Indianapolis, outlines the various issues that the county has listed based on a self-evaluation. The evaluation covered both county facilities and programs.
Some recommended items would require only additional signage at minimal cost, while others, such as updating restrooms in county buildings, would mean significant work and costs. In some case, Murphy noted, items such as drinking fountain heights could be easily addressed by installing one ADA compliant fountain and removing others as opposed to replacing three fountains.
The total sum for all of the recommended items throughout the county was just over $1 million.
Cobb told the commissioners that they can approach the issues in various ways. Some specific needs should be addressed separately, while others can be addressed during renovations or repairs to those areas.
Murphy noted that there was not a specific time frame in place for the improvements and that the transition plan sets out a priority system. Items that have a likelihood of creating an ADA issue would be addressed in the near future, while those issues at public accessed sites would be next in line. Areas with limited public use would be next. Murphy said that they are looking at a five-year plan in addressing the issues.
It was noted that ADA issues involving US 20 and SR 9 fall under the state’s jurisdiction, but Murphy is passing along concerns he receives about those areas to INDOT.
The document is available through the county’s website, as well as the grievance procedure. “The last thing a county our size wants to see is to get an infraction on this and have money taken away,” Murphy told the commissioners. “It’s also the right thing to do.”