New hires soon will join Colorado Springs’ bare-bones staff in an effort to bring the city into compliance with the nearly 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appropriate $300,000 to hire five ADA inspectors, an administrator and a human resources staffer.
The cost will be $500,000, but anticipated savings in the general fund can cover the difference, Chief Financial Officer Charae McDaniel has said.
The new inspectors should examine parking lots to ensure access for people with special needs, said Patricia Yeager, CEO of The Independence Center.
“The parking lot is how we get in to participate,” Yeager said. “And if that’s not accessible or usable, then we don’t get in. We don’t buy, and we don’t use the trail.”
But city ADA Manager Rob Hernandez said the new hires will only bolster the team enough to ensure city properties are in compliance.
The city has failed to meet ADA standards for decades, and a military veteran and his wife sued the city and others six months ago, claiming systemic noncompliance with federal accessibility standards.