Hutchinson City Council last week reviewed an assessment of public rights of way for Americans with disability compliance by city officials.
For the past four years, employees have looked at sidewalks and paths, pedestrian driveways and traffic control devices owned by the city. What was found was used to create the city’s ADA transition plan. The study included 50 kilometers of sidewalks, 21 kilometers of hiking trails, 1,151 curb ramps, five pedestrian crossings and twelve public parking spaces.
“It is really a document requested by the city through the Minnesota Department of Transportation,” said Kent Exner, Hutchinson city engineer. “You are really asking the counties and cities to approve an Americans with Disabilities Act to get federal funding. So that would be federal aid for road projects, primarily bridge projects. “
He said a transition plan may also be needed in the future to receive government aid, which gives Hutchinson approximately $ 800,000 annually.
“This is basically an inventory and assessment,” said Exner.
The assessment documented $ 1.4 million of renovation work that could be done.
“There’s really no hard obligation to deliver this,” said Exner. “It really is a legal mechanism for public authorities to show that they are responding to the ADA bill passed in 1990.”
The city includes ADA compliance for new projects.
“It’s more like someone can’t say, ‘Hey town, you didn’t do anything down on Third Avenue or on the street that was built 50 years ago.’ And we can say, ‘Well, we have a plan. We have identified these facilities, we have a plan to address them. So don’t sue us, ‘”said Exner.
The city council will decide on the approval of the transition plan at a later date.