GOING UP, COMING DOWN?
New Annex Elevator ready for your use!
By: Pat Hunter
October 12, 2008
Good news, at long last, the new Annex elevator is operational and ready for use. Do you have a physical impairment that makes it difficult for you to climb stairs? Its a daunting task to go from one floor to the next floor in the Annex but no more. You may now use the elevator from the downstairs Annex or main floor.
If you enter from the basement door to the building inspector/TDEC office area, please follow the hallway to the Annex meeting room, the elevator is located near the downstairs area. From the main Annex floor, the new elevator is located in the hallway closest to the Trustee's office.
Many years ago, when the courthouse annex was first built, an elevator was not included as part of original building design. Back then the price to install an elevator, materials and labor, was far less.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law in 1990 by then President George Bush, Sr.
The chairman of the Annex Committee was none other then Doyle Arp and back then he was the property assessor.
Why did Arp's Annex Committee not insist on the installation of an elevator for the Annex to meet federal law, five years after the ADA was passed into law?
And, how did Arp's Annex Committee skirt federal law for years?
Several years ago, the Department of Justice found Loudon County in ADA non compliance of many of its public facilities and Loudon County agreed to address these deficiencies. The United States Department of Justice found that "There is no elevator linking the upper and lower levels of this facility. The Department’s title II regulation specifically provides that the elevator exemptions contained in Standards § 4.1.3(5) do not apply to title II facilities. 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(c). Within three years of the effective date of this Agreement, provide an elevator to ensure an interior accessible route between both floors of this facility and ensure that all elevator elements comply with the Standards. Standards §§ 4.1.3(5), 4.10." Loudon County found out the hard way, that they may not violate the civil rights of people with disabilities who use public buildings. Its the law.
Please help spread the word about the new elevator in the courthouse annex.