by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — Logansport officials are continuing to bring the city up to compliance with the federally-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act with the recent hiring of a consulting firm to take inventory on what needs to be done.
A contract with was presented at the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety Wednesday to hire First Group Engineering Inc.out of Indianapolis for $68,924 to assist the city with an ADA transition plan.
Logansport Community Development Director Chris Armstrong said the consultants will be determining what needs to be done, how much it will cost and when to carry out each project. She said she hopes to have the company begin within a week. The contract states work will be completed within three months.
Armstrong said her biggest concern in getting up to ADA compliance is the city’s sidewalks and crosswalks.
“They affect people every day,” she said.
Some need to be improved, she added, while others need to be put in where they don’t exist.
Armstrong said it was originally planned for city employees to take on the inventory project. It was eventually determined the city lacked the necessary manpower, however.
The contract states the consultants will also take inventory of traffic signals, parks and public buildings to determine needs regarding ADA compliance. It also states the consultants will hold a public meeting at the City Building in the future to gain community input.
Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin reminded those at the meeting that the standards outlined in the legislation are required by the federal government.
“If we don’t become compliant, it could jeopardize future federal funding,” he said.
Franklin went on to say bids for the project ranged from $50,000 to $150,000 and that First Group Engineering submitted the most complete bid at what city officials felt was the best price.
“This is the best deal available,” he said.
In other news, the board also:
• Approved the submission of 10-day notices to the owners of 208, 210 and 214 S. Sixth Street to respond with a plan of action regarding their properties, which are all considered unsafe structures. The property at 208 had to be partially demolished in April after a partial collapse, placing further strain on the other properties, as they all share structural elements.
• Approved a street closure at Melbourne Avenue from Third to Fifth streets and Fourth Street from Market Street to Melbourne Avenue from 9 a.m. Aug. 10 to noon Aug. 12 for Taste of Cass County 2013.
• Approved the hiring of a police officer.
• Approved the closure of an alley between North Street and Broadway and Eighth and Ninth streets from noon to 4:30 p.m. July 27 for a block party for First United Methodist Church.
• Approved a dumpster request at 1300 Smead St. from now until Monday for a roof tear-off.