Overton County commissioners approved County Executive Ben Danner to serve as their ADA Coordinator.
Danner said the added responsibility will help save Overton County funding as they work to make buildings more ADA compliant.
“I talked to some consulting companies, and it was going to be upwards of $100,000 to do this and we put $50,000 in the budget,” Danner said. “But through the help of UT and CTAS – which is our county technical service through UT – they’ve got a plan where the county can do it ourselves. So I’m going to take that extra work on and try to save us at least $50,000.”
Commissioners unanimously approved Danner’s appointment to the position during Monday’s meeting.
Danner said the county will now be able to work towards meeting standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act with some federal assistance.
“The federal government discovered when they were looking at the anniversary of the ADA act that a lot of the counties and cities hadn’t went through the processes to make every building they’ve got ADA accessible,” Danner said, “which that’s something that’s really costly for smaller communities like us. We’ve got a lot of buildings and it costs a lot to do that. So they’ve tied that to funding this year to get those ADA requirements fixed.”
Danner said he will use the county’s maintenance budget in order to help complete projects within the federal government’s three-year deadline.
“I’m going to start working on that and hope to be done by October or November and have that requirement done,” Danner said. “If we don’t do it, all federal funding is going to be halted to the county. We’ve got a $2-$3 million bridge project right now we’re working on and I don’t want that money to quit flowing to the county, so I’m going to try and get that done.”
Danner said ADA issues at the current county services building will be solved once officials move into their new building.