Maryville and Alcoa are nearly finished compiling a full report for their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a process several years in the making but that is due before the end of 2019.
Both cities recently have studied community input concerning local accessibility standards for those with disabilities. Alcoa has set aside $75,000 worth of ADA compliance spending this year, nearly $50,000 more than it spent in fiscal 2019.
Where Alcoa has created a single fund, Maryville will continue its ADA-related spending throughout various departments.
The document that will guide this process is called a transition plan, and cities are required to hand in their final version of it before the year is out.
Final stages of assembling this plan included a review by the people ADA compliance will affect the most: the community.
Maryville spokeswoman Jane Groff said the city just completed its public input period on a self-audit and transition plan draft and expects a final document to be delivered soon. Once it is, Maryville’s official plan will be complete.
The document will pass through the office of Engineering & Public Works, where Director Brian Boone said it is reviewing existing feedback.
“(We have) seen the comments received from the public comment period,” Boone emailed The Daily Times. “We look forward to receiving the final document when it is delivered by the consultant later this year.”
Boone also said his department will prioritize the locations that are identified in the transition plan and repair and reconstruct concrete ramps and sidewalks throughout the city to bring them into compliance. “We expect the transition plan to help map out a strategy for which locations are worked on in a specific year over the next five to 10 years.”
In Alcoa, ADA spending in fiscal 2019 totaled almost exactly $26,900, Assistant City Manager Andy Sonner said. This year it’s up to $75,000 divided between $25,000 in facilities spending and $50,000 in public right-of-way accessibility guidelines.
LDA Engineering has been working on Alcoa’s transition plan, Sonner said, adding the company gave him the budget recommendation.
“As we go through the plan and prepare for the future, it may go up. This is just a placeholder and a starting point,” Sonner said.
The transition plan pushes the city to be strategic in how it approaches ADA compliance, one of the reasons money has been put into a separate fund for the first time, he said.
Added to comments from the public, Sonner said LDA has taken a microscope to the area. “It’s more of a strategic overview. They’ve gone out and mapped all our facilities and reviewed all our sidewalks and greenway trails.”
The review was handed off to Alcoa around the middle of June, Sonner said. He’s in the process of reviewing it.
Maryville, which also had a contract with LDA — a subcontractor with DLZ, a consulting firm — started the process earlier than its neighbor and is set to complete the transition plan a little earlier, officials said.
Groff said the city will make its final payment of the total $143,600 it cost to do the compliance study at the end of the year, but the study will be finished before that.
Groff could not confirm whether a final copy of the report would be published on the city’s website, though a draft of the document previously had been posted.
Sonner said Alcoa’s cost for working with DLZ/LDA will not exceed $130,000. He said the city’s plan should be complete no later than the end of July and will be out for public review immediately afterward.
The city of Townsend, though it does follow basic disability-centered standards at its own facilities, is not required to complete a transition plan because of its population size, City Recorder Danny Williamson said.