EATON — Four handicap accessible spots will be added at the Preble County Courthouse this spring.
Commission President Denise Robertson explained, an evaluation was performed on the Preble County Courthouse with regard to ADA Compliance.
“The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) system is a complaint-driven process and we have never had a complaint here in the courthouse,” she said.
However, the evaluation found several inadequacies with the courthouse. The Preble County Commissioners have recognized those areas and are working to make improvements to the building, so all can visit and conduct their necessary business in the Preble County Courthouse.
One of those areas was the courthouse’s side parking lot.
“According to the new guidelines for the ADA, because of the amount of employees we have and our business, we are required to have four handicap accessible spots. Three of them are regular and one is required to be van accessible,” she said.
“We are addressing the issue, because it is the right thing to do. It is a good thing to have the courthouse as easily accessible as we can make it.”
Robertson added, the Preble County Board of Commissioners put in an emergency measure to address the courthouse parking lot right away. However, due to the weather, work had to be postponed.
The work is slated to begin this spring, once the weather allows. They will be taking spots assigned to elected officials and using them for the handicap accessible spots.
“The parking lot is not level. In order for it to be completely compliant — and now that we are doing construction, we have to comply with the new rules — the parking lot has to be level. We are going to be tearing out part of the pavement out there and creating a level spot up to the sidewalk,” she said. “In order to do that, there maybe will have to be a ramp to drive up to get to the level spots.
“It is costing a little more, because there has been some extra engineering that has to be done to make it completely level. Right now we’re at approximately $49,000 cost-wise.”
Robertson was not sure how long construction will take or when the work is slated to finish.
“The spots we had weren’t necessarily the best or most easily accessible, so even though this is coming out of conflict, it really is a good thing for the county. This is a good thing to help it be more easily accessible. [The Board of Commissioners’] did discuss, if we’re going to spend money on a building, this is the building we want to spend money on to improve things,” she said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH