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City to hire compliance architect
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McMinnville government will be hiring an architect to review its buildings for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We have to have a Transition Plan for ADA compliance and that has to be in by December of next year,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “Consensus is we need a consultant to tell us where we need to do the work. This will only identify the areas and not give us drawings or plans to correct the areas that do not meet ADA compliance.”
The announcement was made during a Finance Committee meeting.
A Transition Plan is required by the state. Local governments have until December 2019 to bring all public buildings into compliance with ADA. If not, the Tennessee Department of Transportation could withhold gasoline tax funds given to those governments. The state tied the two together in order to force ADA compliance.
McMinnville Water Department director Anthony Pelham said he solicited proposals and had informal discussions with architects and after reviewing the information with city administrator Bill Brock and Finance Department director Shirley Durham, the recommendation is to hire Thomas L. Anderson Architect Inc.
McMinnville City Hall, said Pelham, will be the biggest financial concern.
“I think our biggest issue is going to be here at City Hall, just from my preliminary walkthrough. If you think about potential renovation costs that may come in for bathrooms, access points and things of that nature, handicap parking in and around the courthouse, access ramps. Those are things I think he’ll identify.”
Anderson will not be asked to inspect the Civic Center. A proposed renovation and expansion that is currently under consideration includes bringing the building up to code and that includes ADA compliance.
A Transition Plan does not provide project plans or bid documents. It determines where improvements need to be made and provides an estimate on how much each of those changes would cost. The city can use the plan as a to-do list for ADA compliance.
The cost of the inspection is unknown at this time. However, the committee can spend up to $10,000 without Board of Mayor and Aldermen approval.
Committee members approved hiring Anderson with a cap of $10,000.