The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors, empathizing with handicapped persons who might need Courthouse access, Tuesday offered concerns about the new handicap access being completed on the northeast side of the Courthouse with the project architect.
Meanwhile, architect Glen Huntington assured the Board that the new access will meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) requirements and should allow handicapped citizens to use the Courthouse.
The Board of Supervisors approved the $60,000 handicap access improvement in order to bring the entrance in line with wheelchair slope requirements and other ADA standards.
Huntington said the new doors will meet ADA requirements, without an electronic door opener which could cost $4,300. The previous handicap access had an electronic-assist button.
Huntington said the ADA requires that doors have a five-pound pull, a level to which the doors could be set.
"To me, the best thing is to think about the person in a wheelchair trying to get in," said Supervisor Herb Crampton.
Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor Dewyne Stucynski said he had assumed there would be an automatic door opener on the updated handicap entrance. He said there would be some people who would not be able to open the door.
"Legally, you don't have to have it," Huntington said.
"I think you're going to have some complaints if you don't," Stucynski said.
While two options were discussed, either a push button or electronic door handle assist, Huntington said a push button option might be the only one available for the doors that are being installed.
"I sure don't want to discourage the handicapped people from coming in here," said Supervisor Dick Vail.
Huntington said the door could be adjusted for a five-pound pull and see whether that satisfies the needs of Courthouse patrons.
"I think he's got to get the cost of the push button and the assist so we can make a decision," said Vice Chair Bill Lanphere.
The board agreed to have the doors installed as planned. Meanwhile, Huntington will obtain prices on both the electronic handle assist and the push button options.