Council recommits to Disabilities Act of 1990
by Daniel Gaddy
Aug 08, 2012 | 1198 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Much of the Jasper City Council’s Tuesday meeting concerned the municipality’s commitment to ensuring the rights of residents with disabilities.

The council approved a proclamation read by Mayor Sonny Posey that recommits the City of Jasper to meeting every standard set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The legislation protects disabled citizens from discrimination regarding employment, public transportation and public accommodations.

Trecia Benefield, a representative from Disabilities Unlimited, also spoke to the council about several businesses in the city that do not have accommodations that meet the standards of the ADA. She said, for example, that many people who use walkers have trouble walking on gravel, and several businesses in the area have only gravel parking lots and entrances.

The mayor and each of the council members said those concerns would be addressed.

Members from Disabilities Unlimited also presented council member Sandi Sudduth with a plaque honoring her as the group’s 2012 Walker County Hero.

In other business, the council:

•Presented Fed Ex employee Ken Barfield with a commendation for bravery. Barfield talked with Nathan Van Wilkins, who confessed to July’s shooting in Tuscaloosa, at the Fed Ex location before Jasper police came to arrest Wilkins.

“I think that we always need to keep in mind that it’s law enforcement and first responders that face these situations daily and THEY should be accommodated,” Barfield said after accepting the recognition.

•Voted to re-appoint Bob Nolen to his position on the Jasper Housing Committee Board.

•Heard from council member Lee Swann, who said he would like to see more progress in the construction of Jasper’s Miracle Field, a sports complex for children with disabilities. Public Works Director Joe Mathews said Miracle Field has taken longer than similar projects because each aspect of it required a bid process.

City Purchasing Agent Tommy Knight also told Swann that the company doing the paving for Miracle Field’s foundation is running behind because of delays with another project.

• Approved the use of $7,600 to remove dead trees at Oak Hill Cemetery. City Planner Keith Pike said the trees are very dangerous as they stand now.

• Approved a resolution to re-elect council member Gary Cowen, who had no opposition for the municipal election.

• Approved a resolution to offer the council’s commitment to a grant application for a project concerning new water lines at Industrial Park.

If approved, the council will have to pay $400,000 for a 20-percent match, which would fund the construction of a million-gallon water tank for the Industrial Park area.

Council members said the tank would improve water services in the area, attracting more industries.