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County to see cost of compliance
A 2009 agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice established a timetable for Glynn County to bring all county buildings in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Now, it's time for the county to learn how extensive and costly renovations will be.

Commissioners are expected to approve the low bid from Chicago-based LCM Architects when they meet at 6 p.m. today in the old county courthouse, 701 G St., Brunswick.

The company's task is to survey 65 county buildings and prepare remediation plans for all facilities not in compliance with the federal law, which was created to guarantee handicap access in public buildings.

Once the survey is complete, the company will help the county develop plans to bring the facilities into compliance.

The survey and remediation design is expected to cost between $175,000 and $200,000, with the money coming from the general fund balance, according to Becky Rowell, assistant county administrator and public works director.

The county is also expected at today's meeting to approve funding to bring Blythe Island Regional Park into compliance with ADA requirements. The work, which will cost nearly $203,000, includes construction and installation of bathroom plumbing and accessories, sidewalks, parking areas and improvements to electrical and plumbing systems. Funding for work at the park will come from a variety of sources: $63,000 from SPLOST 4; $100,000 from SPLOST 5; and $39,000 from the general fund.

The dollar amount for bringing all county buildings into compliance is uncertain, but it's expected to cost millions.

Some of the uncertainty is because renovations to older county buildings could be costly if the work requires asbestos removal, county officials said.

The Justice Department says some county government buildings have counter spaces that are too high, handicap ramps with too steep of an incline or doorway thresholds that make it difficult for wheelchair access. Bathroom sinks and toilets in many buildings are too high and have inaccessible paper towel dispensers. Mirrors are improperly located and there's not enough clearance in lavatories.

County parks don't have accessible routes from the parking lot to bathrooms and concessions. Drinking fountains are too low or high, in some instances, and are designed improperly for a blind person with a cane to find.

Many county venues need additional handicap parking spaces, including ones for vans.

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