County settles with Justice Dept. over ADA compliance

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pearl River County has agreed to improve access to public facilities in compliance with provisions of Americans with Disabilities Act.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the agreement on Tuesday.

Pearl River County administrator Adrain Lumpkin said that about a year ago the county was inspected and that a group of compliance forms was sent to the county for approval.

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Lumpkin said the board of supervisors approved the forms and returned them to the Justice Dept. “approximately one month ago.”

“We agreed to upgrade everything that we need to in compliance with the proposed agreement,” said Lumpkin. “We had already accomplished some of the requirements.”

Under the agreement, the county will modify public buildings to make entrances, restrooms and other facilities accessible to people with disabilities. The same will apply to polling places.

The county also will adopt a grievance procedure to deal with ADA-related complaints.

The county will train staff to handle calls from people with disabilities, including 911 calls.

Lumpkin said that the county was not reported by anyone, prompting the inspection last year. He said that the inspection was routine, and that the county cooperated fully in the inspection and subsequent steps in working out an agreement.

“We are conscious of the requirements,” said Lumpkin, “and the county has been moving as fast as it can, under budget restraints, to rectify any deficiencies the county has in relation to this.”