Firm to assess town’s needs for compliance with disabilities act

BROWNSTOWN

Work continues to make Brownstown buildings and sidewalks more accessible for those with disabilities.

The town council recently hired Midwestern Engineers Inc. of Loogootee to assess the town to see what needs to be done. The purpose is to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“They’ll basically develop a 20-year plan for us,” council President John Nolting said. “They’ll try to help us if we need to get things fixed, try to help us with pricing on some of that, just help us in implementing the plan.”

Richard Burch, chief executive officer of Midwestern Engineers, said he would find bids for improvement work that would not exceed $10,000. The town received one bid, but it was too high.

Nolting said work wouldn’t start until early next year. Councilman Ben Lewis said payment could be spread out quarterly.

Brownstown has worked with Midwestern Engineers in the past, and Nolting said it was a positive experience.

“I think we’ve been happy with the business, the work they’ve done for us,” Nolting said.

Nolting also talked to other Indiana towns that recently worked with the company.

“Right now, they are in the process with Oakland City,” he said. “Hanover was a town they already completed; and I contacted Hanover, and they were very happy with what they’ve done.”

In 2013, Midwestern Engineers worked with Browns-town after the town received a $250,000 congressional grant for a sidewalk and streetscape project.

Town council members went around town to identify potential barriers for those with disabilities.

The federal government made a push for the state and local communities to compile information about their buildings, streets and sidewalks with respect to accessibility issues.

In Brownstown, work began at the entrance to the town pool on Bridge Street and continued west along Bridge Street by the town pond to the entrance to the town park.

In 2012, Brownstown/Ewing Main Street helped the town by making some sidewalks handicapped-accessible at some intersections. The next year, the town used bond money to pay for installing a chair lift at the pool.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.