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County approves novel handicapped-parking program

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County commissioners approved an $80,500 contract on Tuesday for a novel approach to handicapped-parking enforcement. For a startup fee of $8,500 and 12 monthly payments of $6,000, Access Empowerment, a nonprofit corporation, will train volunteers and equip them with a smartphone app that they can use to issue citations to drivers illegally parked in a handicapped space. During previous discussions of the proposal in recent weeks, large numbers of disabled Travis County residents showed up to advocate for the program. Commissioner Gerald Daugherty and Precinct 3 Constable Sally Hernandez are both credited as its leading backers. Just before the unanimous vote on Tuesday, Daugherty commended the county’s attorneys for ironing out the legion of potential legal liabilities in the arrangement. “Let me just say that this has been a long haul,” he said. “But I do think that we’ve done the right thing.”

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