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City to accomodate disabled
ST. MARYS -- St. Marys officials have identified problems with restrooms in six city-owned buildings that aren't in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Now, they want to know if there are other problems they haven't discovered.

It's part of an effort to better accommodate individuals with disabilities, said City Public Works Director Bobby Marr.

City officials are seeking public comments to ensure their voluntary compliance study is as comprehensive as possible.

"I hope to get participation," Marr said of the public comment link on the city's website. "The whole purpose is to get input. There may be some issues that exist we don't know about."

City officials believe the ability to accommodate disabled persons is essential to good customer service, as well as the quality of life St. Marys residents seek to enjoy.

The plan was prepared after careful study by each department of all of the city's programs, services and activities. Barriers that deny or limit access to programs, services or activities may be structural or non-structural.

City officials identified 27 city-owned properties, from City Hall and water treatment plants to boat ramps and boardwalks.

The only problems discovered were with handicap access in restrooms at City Hall, the Public Works Building, Ward Hernandez Building and three fire stations. All need renovations to bring them into compliance.

A video shown at Orange Hall, a city-owned antebellum mansion downtown, is also not in compliance with the law.

But those are the only problems city officials are currently aware of, Marr said, which is why they are seeking public input for the voluntary self evaluation.

The city is also improving communications, including printing certain portions of meeting agendas in large-font print to make the content easier to review, and improving website communications.

City officials are reviewing the feasibility of incorporating equipment, available upon request, designed to assist hearing impaired persons to participate fully in city council meetings.

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.



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