City to pay $400K to meet ADA standards |

City to pay $400K to meet ADA standards

Jill Lufrano

Carson City officials expect the cost to upgrade its public buildings and parking lots to accommodate people with disabilities to reach $400,000, they said Wednesday.

Several changes to bathrooms, flushing levers, drinking fountain heights and doors are already taking place this year, but city staff expect to take five years to complete the work, said coordinator Tony Baker.

“We’ve already started working on some, doing repairs and trying to be in compliance,” Baker said. Baker, the city’s risk coordinator, was designated as the coordinator of the project.

The city settled with the U.S. Department of Justice last week after agreeing to make the necessary changes to meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. A random visit by federal representatives of the justice department prompted the city to draft the plan.

“Helping cities across the country become accessible under Project Civic Access remains a top priority for the department,” according to Justice Department statement issued last week.

In order to comply with the agreement, the city will:

– Start installing curb ramps or other sloped areas at any intersection having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street walkway.

– Provide better parking access and signs at the Aquatic Center, Roberts House, Northgate Engineering and Planning Department building, Community Center, Mills Park, Centennial Park and Softball Complex, Eagle Valley Golf Course, Environmental Health, parks and Streets Department complex, Juvenile Justice Center, Governor’s Field Park and Edmonds Park.

– Raise drinking fountains in several buildings to allow people with disabilities to drink from them.

– Lower the ticket window counter and the concession stand counter at the Pony Express Pavilion to 3 feet high to allow wheelchair access.

– Alter flush valves in several restrooms to allow for access by disabled patrons.

The city has also committed to providing facilities for disabled visitors and inmates at the jail and justice center. Within one year, the city plans to equip at least one visitor room with no fixed seat on each side of the partition to allow access for inmates and visitors using a wheelchair. Also, at least one text telephone with explanatory signs will be provided at the jail.

Toilet room doors in the jail’s holding area will be changed to require no more than 5 pounds of pressure to open and the toilet flush valve in the men’s toilet room will be easier to operate.

One accessible cell in the main housing area in both the men’s and women’s units will be retrofitted with an entry door that is at least 32-inches wide and have a bed that has maneuvering space of at least 36 inches wide so inmates in wheelchairs can transfer into the bed.

Approved by city supervisors, changes to facilities have been prioritized with the most important being done first, Baker said.

“Our major goal is to get to the most critical items first for ADA compliance,” Baker said.

If completed on time, the city will not face penalties, Baker said. The city will pay for the projects using the general fund and has designated $50,000 his year.

Contact Jill Lufrano at or 881-1217.