CHARLESTON - Mississippi County Commissioners have established an Americans with Disabilities Act Section 504 Grievance Procedure for the county.
"This is a requirement of the Community Development Block Grant program," County Clerk Junior DeLay explained during the County Commission's regular meeting Thursday. The CDBG funds are for the county's rural water district.
DeLay said the county had an ADA grievance procedure in place already for county employees, "but it didn't address the public at large."
The procedure will provide for "prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act" as well as implementing Section 504, which provides that "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program of activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Designated by the county to serve as coordinator for compliance efforts, DeLay will receive complaints and maintain files and records related to complaints.
Accommodations for special disabilities will not be made as they are cost prohibitive for the county.
"As far as the self-evaluation, there were only two deficiencies," DeLay said. These were lack of handicapped parking at the County Highway Department shed and at the county airport.
In other county business:
* With steel prices skyrocketing, Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg suggested looking into selling the county's bulldozer as scrap, but Commissioner Homer Oliver advised it has been repaired and is operable. "They're using that bulldozer," he said.
Blumenberg said an area farmer got $33,000 for scrapping four old tractors.
Commissioner Martin Lucas said wire mesh for concrete has gone up from $39 per unit to $79, and half-inch rebar may not even be available soon.
Commissioners agreed with steel prices as they are, the county may not be able to replace culverts or put in rail car bridges as they have in the past.
Lucas said one benefit of high steel prices may be that a lot of junk could get cleaned up for scrap.
* When the county's blacktop budget is expended this year, "whether we offend or don't offend, we'll have to stop," Blumenberg said.
Commissioners discussed procedures to use for a chip-and-seal blacktop process they will soon test such as grading then putting down a "tack shot" of regular road oil to lay pea gravel on before coming over the top with the higher-quality chip-and-seal oil. The process will be finished by rolling it.
"We're going to try it," Oliver said. "We're just experimenting with this," Blumenberg added.
Oliver said at the worst, the process will make a nice dust control surface, "better than what they've got."
Commissioners are estimating the cost of the chip-and-seal should be one-third the cost of putting down cold-mix asphalt.
"It's not going to cure everything, but it sure will help," Oliver predicted.
Commissioners also discussed blacktopping methods used by previous commissioners, including extremely thin layers of blacktop. "Those were political roads," Blumenberg said, "out in the middle of nowhere."
* Pavestones should be in place soon between the courthouse's front sidewalk and curb.
"They're going to start Monday," DeLay said.