Friday, December 9, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Parks compliance with ADA to take 10 years

Nearly a year after the city’s established compliance deadline for the new American with Disabilities Act requirements, the Parks and Recreation Board heard a presentation on the city’s ADA transition plan during its Dec. 6 meeting.

Jesus Lardizabal from Altura Solutions, the consulting firm working on the project, outlined a 10-year plan that would bring the Parks and Recreation Department into compliance with the amended Title II requirements, which were published by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010. “Phase one has already started,” he said at the meeting. “Parks staff have already started to implement some of the maintenance requirements.”

The goal of phase one, according to Lardizabal, would be to move or duplicate all PARD programs to facilities that are already in compliance with the amended ADA requirements over the course of three years. During phase two, which would roll out over the following seven years, all PARD facilities would be brought into compliance with the 2010 ADA standards.

“I know that private landowners can be sued by people with disabilities,” Board Member Michael Casias said. “Are we susceptible to that?”

“Yes,” Lardizabal said. “But this plan will help mitigate that.”

The plan estimates that the two phases could cost as much as $140 million. During the presentation, Lardizabal listed the Capital Improvement Program and the city’s General Fund as two possible funding sources.

To clarify, Board Member Susan Roth asked if the implementation team was still seeking sources for funding both phases.

Liana Kallivoka, interim assistant director for PARD, said that the project’s funding has not been finalized but that the team is confident that it will be able to secure the needed financial support.

Photo by M.O. Stevens made available through a Creative Commons license.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Parks and Recreation Board: The city’s Parks and Recreation Board members deal with the acquisition, development, improvement, and maintenance of Austin’s parks and playgrounds.

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