Commissioners seek input for ADA plan
The Greene County Commissioners will host a public hearing to get community input as they move forward with an ADA compliance plan.
The public hearing will be hosted at the beginning of the May 2 meeting, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Room at the Greene County Courthouse.
Attorney Marilyn Hartman said the county needs to adopt an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition program.
The first step in the process includes appointing an ADA coordinator to oversee what changes need to be made in the four public, county-owned buildings and compile an inventory of ADA compliance in those buildings. The commissioners appointed maintenance supervisor Tim Barker to serve as the ADA coordinator.
“Ed (Michael) has already talked to Tim Barker. He’s willing to do that, and it’s a natural position for him because he’s in a position to see what needs we have,” Hartman explained.
Hartman said at this point, the county is in a good position for the transition program, considering three of the four county buildings have recently been renovated, and the board is currently looking at potential renovations at the Greene County Jail.
In preparation for the public hearing, Hartman put a call out to people and organizations in the community which will be affected by the ADA compliance program.
“We encourage participation and comments from the disabilities communities. I have made contact with 4 Rivers, but we would like to see if there are any other agencies that might be helpful or interested in bringing comments to see what extent we can be sure that we are addressing any sort of issues with individuals who have difficulties in gaining access to public meetings and public offices,” Hartman explained.
Hartman said after the public hearing, the commissioners will need to put together a plan for the ADA transition program.
“The ADA law does not require that you have things done by a certain time. It is specifically subject to funding,” Hartman noted.
Once the transition plan is completed, it will be available on the county’s website for review.
In other business, the commissioners appointed Pat Brown, of Lyons, to the Cemetery Board to fill a vacancy. Commissioners President Ed Michael said Brown has volunteered her time with the board in the past by doing research.
Michael noted the board will soon have a second vacancy soon, so the board will be seeking another member.
Greene County resident Ron Toon opened the public comments on a positive note by commending the county’s road plan. At the last meeting, Toon asked for a copy of the comprehensive plan. He said the document, which ranks the roads throughout the county, based on their need for upgrade and issues.
Though, Toon asked the commissioners to be sure they execute the plan based on the need, noting previous administrations have tendencies to execute plans in a “political nature.”
Toon also posed a question to the commissioners about the process in which the county goes through to ensure bills are paid. He referenced Michael’s request to the County Council last week, in which he requested to utilize about $50,000 from the Building Fund to start paying bills in association with the proposed jail expansion.
Toon said his question, which was also posed to him by others in the community, was how the soft costs are tracked. He said the question comes from conversations about transparency and tracking within the community. Toon also referenced an editorial recently published in the Greene County Daily World, which credited area youth with being active in the community and noting they are the future of Greene County.
Toon said if the county is not proactive and starts making change, the local youth may not stay in the area.
He also referenced the last meeting, where Toon said he did not appreciate the way he was treated at the last meeting when he brought up the topic of a plan for Greene County’s future. He also expressed concerns about the lack of land use planning in the county.
“All I’m saying, is if we continue down this road, your youth is not going to have any place to stay. There is no bright future in Greene County unless we change,” Toon said. “In conclusion, what I’m saying is the debt is unsustainable, we’ve got to do something about zoning and basically, if these issues are not addressed, our most valuable assets will not stay.”