Officials seeking input on access

Seymour officials are seeking public input on what it will take to make the city more accessible to people with disabilities.

To comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the city is putting together an ADA transition plan to highlight areas that need to be addressed.

“It’s something all local communities have to do,” city engineer Nathan Frey said.

Brownstown also is investigating ways to improve accessibility to its buildings and sidewalks and how that work will be funded.

A meeting will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Seymour City Hall to allow anyone interested in Seymour’s ADA transition plan to submit comments and voice their ideas and concerns about public access issues.

The idea is to get a better idea of what improvements need to be made so the city can budget for the changes.

“We’ll be cataloging all of the curb ramps and sidewalks in the city as well as all public areas within buildings, such as bathrooms and entrances, to make sure we are not discriminating against those with disabilities,” Frey said.

He encouraged anyone who lives or works in the city to attend the meeting, especially individuals with disabilities or organizations representing them.

“The meeting will be to look at areas that are pedestrian generators, such as convenience stores, pharmacies, churches, anywhere people would want to walk to,” he said. “That includes our parks, too.”

After assessing the city’s existing facilities, the transition plan will target deficiencies and funding and provide a tentative timeline for work to be completed.

“The next step will be looking at our budgets and deciding what we do first,” Frey said. “We don’t have to fix everything at once, but we will have a plan in place on what needs addressed.”

Seymour is not behind other communities in the compliance process and has been working internally on the plan since last fall, Frey said. It will be completed and presented to the board of public works and safety, city council and plan commission for approval in mid March.

Work on ADA projects will begin early next year after the city completes its annual budget process.

“We’re right where everyone else is,” Frey said.

Those who can not attend next week’s meeting but are interested in accessibility issues may still get involved in the process as the plan is a continuous improvement project.

Frey said public input is important in developing the plan.

“It’s something we have to do and should do,” he said.

If you go

What: Public meeting about Seymour’s Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan

Where: Seymour City Hall, 301 N. Chestnut St.

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4

Purpose: To gather public input from people who live and work in Seymour on how the city can improve handicapped accessibility in public areas.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.