by Mitchell Kirk
Plans are currently in the works to make Cass County more handicap accessible.
So says Cass County Highway Superintendent Jeff Smith, who briefed members of the Cass County Commissioner’s Monday on how the department is working to make the county’s buildings and sidewalks align with regulations dictated in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.
“We want to comply with ADA regulations,” Smith said. “We think it’s a good thing for the public to be compliant and we want to make a good faith effort to get into compliance.”
Smith said the endeavor, which consists of a five-year plan, began by hiring Indianapolis-based consulting firm RW Armstrong and Associates to assess what needs to be done. He said the department is expecting the finished evaluation next month.
“The plan will outline any deficiencies in any county buildings, like the courthouse,” Smith said, adding that defects might include things like counters not being at adequate heights for people in wheelchairs.
One project the county already plans to assume within the next month addresses the sidewalk part of the plan, specifically at Davis Road and Winding Brook Trail.
“That project will most likely involve a little widening of the apron in the street-to-sidewalk transition,” Smith said.
Smith added other projects will most likely occur on sidewalks and right-of-ways in the incorporated towns of Young America and Lincoln.
In addition to the benefits created for residents with disabilities, Smith said that once ADA regulations are put in place, the county would be eligible for funds from the Department of Transportation to be put toward future projects.