Council ponders accessibility updates



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GREENFIELD — With more than 100 shortcomings that need to be fixed to make county government facilities fully accessible to people with disabilities, Hancock County officials are now wondering how to pay for the upgrades.

The Hancock County Council was given a 10-page report Wednesday on problems on county sidewalks, streets and public buildings. The Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan is a federal requirement, and local officials must show that they are working to address problems or else be at risk to lose federal grant funding.

From a $100 repair to a sidewalk leading up to the Hancock County Highway Department to a $28,500 wheelchair ramp to be added to the jail, the items total nearly $1 million, and officials may spread out the cost over 30 years.

While some council members balked at the cost of the items and the federal mandate, others were more pragmatic.

“If there’s stuff we need to do to comply with ADA and to do things for our taxpayers that really need to be done to make things accessible, then I think we need to get them under way and get them done,” Councilman Jim Shelby said.

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