The village has been working to ensure its buildings, parks and website are compatible and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Bethalto Fire Chief Rich Mersinger presented an update to the Village Board Monday on the state of the village’s compliance with rules and regulations regarding the ADA.
“It not only covers physical barriers, but things like the website, providing interpreters at meetings, and so on,” he said.
Village buildings, sidewalks and roadways for the most part are ADA-compliant, according to the chief. As part of the plan, Mersinger says the village also will ask Illinois Department of Transportation about funding crosswalks at Illinois Route 140 and Prairie Street to have audible tones set for those who are sight-impaired.
Facility evaluations (village buildings and village-owned properties) have been under inspection since November. Mersinger said the village also needs to be prepared if and when it hires an employee with a disability, as well as the proper procedures with taking someone with a disability into custody.
“We have to be able to handle anyone we come across in the case of an emergency,” he said.
The website also offers a form that can be downloaded and returned to the village for anyone with a disability who needs to alert the village of their needs in the case of an emergency.
Mersinger did say there could be improvements with the handicapped parking at Village Hall, some additional updating of the website, and documents available in Braille.
He plans to have a finished document ready to present to the Village Board within the next month.
“At this point we are soliciting public comment,” Mersinger said. “How can we make our facilities more accessible?”
“This is a monumental task,” Mayor Alan Winslow said. “We appreciate everything Rich has done to get us to this point.”
There is no deadline on getting the plan in place, but Mersinger said the village is attempting to get a jump on compliance, at Madison County’s request.
“They are going to tie in local, state, and federal grants into this before too much longer, so for now the county is just getting the communities on board and wants them to start thinking about this,” he said.
The village has announced its recipients of the William Stephenson Scholarship for 2014.
This year’s recipients are Rachel Hawkins, Miriam Susanna Mann, Robert Stilwell and John Thomas Flack.
Frank J. Lind has been hired as a new patrolman for the Bethalto Police Department. Police Chief Greg Smock says Lind has passed all necessary requirements and is attending the academy as of May 1.
The Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto in cooperation with the village is hosting the 19th annual “Help Kids Classic” golf tournament.
The event, sponsored by RLS Global, will be held at Belk Park Golf Course and is limited to the first 144 golfers registered.
To learn more information or reserve a team, call (618) 377-6030.