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Interim committee endorses spending for ADA compliance at the State Capitol

2009-0521-ND-StateCapitol_0.jpg

An interim Legislative committee has endorsed the state’s Office of Management and Budget’s plans to ask for money to make the state Capitol compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The proposed dollar amount will be capped at $750,000.

"When we met earlier, we thought it'd be millions of dollars, and we'd have to do it over multiple biennia," state facilities manager John Boyle told the interim Government Administration Committee. "But $750,000 will take care of everything, as well as some other items. It just seems a lot more reasonable."

Boyle said $461,000 goes directly toward ADA compliance, and the other money will be for other upgrades, including two “family bathrooms” – one on the main floor, and one near the top of the Capitol tower.

"We had an incident during the last Legislative session, where an individual had somebody assist them who was of the opposite sex," Boyle said. "They couldn't determine which rest room to use."

Boyle said a family rest room would solve that issue.

The items for ADA compliance include wider doors, signage, sound systems for the hearing impaired, and wheelchair lifts.

Public entrance and parking lot

Boyle also told the Committee  the project to redo the south side public entrance to the Capitol building will be completed by December first.

Boyle said the project is on schedule. He said as crews were digging, they found something unexpected – a fuel tank that had to be replaced.

"We have pulled it out of the ground," Boyle said.

Boyle said workers thought it was leaking.

"But now that it's gone, we round no contamination in the soil," Boyle said. "That saved us a little bit of money."

Boyle also said the public parking lot on the south side of the building will move closer to the building, and willalso have more handicapped parking places. And he told the Committee some CARES Act money is being used for some improvements to the bathroom fixtures.

"Everything is going to be touchless," Boyle said. "We did keep paper towels, because people like to use paper towels to hold the handle when they come out of the rest rooms.

Boyle said everything should be ready for the Legislature’s December organizational session.

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