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Shipshewana works toward ADA compliance

The Shipshewana Town Council approved a resolution Thursday evening to adopt Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for the town, putting them on a path toward compliance with federal mandates.

The council was told that federal guidelines have been put into effect that mean a town must move forward with ADA compliance in order to continue to receive federal highway funds. By not moving ahead with compliance, as set by the mandates, a town could see an effect on how much money it gets, the council was told.

Exactly what the town has to do to become fully compliant will depend on the final number of employees the town has. If the county is to include volunteer firemen, the town reaches the cutoff of 50 employees, which would require a higher level of compliance. Currently, the town is waiting to see if volunteers will count toward the number of employees or not.

Town Manager, Sheryl Kelly will be the town’s ADA coordinator the council was told Thursday. The town will also adopt a grievance procedure that would start with Kelly.

The town will also work on a self-evaluation to identify problems in town and then work on a schedule to address any issues found.

In other business:

The council discussed possible action the town could take to handle a feral cat problem. The council was told that a group of 27 wild cats are roaming the town. One possible solution was to work with Ark Animal Rescue to live trap the cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then returned to the area. It was noted that if the cats are removed entirely, other cats will move in. The cost would be $30 per cat. Ark would contribute $10 per cat, with the town to cover the remaining $20.

“These are truly wild,” Kelly told the council. “At some point, we will not be looking at 27 cats anymore.”

No action was taken Thursday.

The council approved moving ahead with annual water, sewer and storm water rates. The review will allow the town to stay on top of changes in costs as the council seeks to avoid having to do any significant increases to rates.