Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And City Of Georgiana, Alabama

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-2-24

BACKGROUND

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department of Justice") against the City of Georgiana, Alabama ("City"). The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant alleges that the programs, services and activities offered in the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum, Georgiana City Hall, Georgiana Police Department, and Georgiana City Council Chambers are not accessible to persons with mobility impairments.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complainants in this matter to determine the compliance of the City with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. ァ 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Georgiana, Alabama. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

JURISDICTION

  1. The ADA applies to the City because it is a "public entity" as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12131(1).
  2. The City owns and operates the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum, Georgiana City Hall, Georgiana Police Department, and Georgiana City Council Chambers, all of which are located in Georgiana, Alabama.
  3. Under title II of the ADA, discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability, in the services, programs, or activities of the City is prohibited. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12132.
  4. Under title II of the ADA, each service, program, or activity that is provided by the City, when viewed in its entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.150(a).
  5. The subject matter of this Agreement is the implementation of a plan to ensure that City services, programs, and activities that are offered in the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum, Georgiana City Hall, Georgiana Police Department, and Georgiana City Council Chambers are readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments.

REMEDIAL ACTION

  1. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will designate an employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under title II of the ADA. The name, office address, and telephone number of the ADA coordinator will be made available to all interested persons.
  2. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete the following alterations:
    1. In each public toilet room in City Hall, the following will be provided:
      1. A grab bar mounted on the wall to the rear of the toilet that is at least 36 inches in length and that otherwise complies with figure 29(a) of the Standards. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.16.4, 4.22.4, figure 29.
      2. A grab bar mounted on the wall to the side of the toilet that is at least 42 inches in length and that otherwise complies with figure 29(b) of the Standards. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.16.4, 4.22.4, figure 29.
      3. A lavatory that has clearance of at least 29 inches below the bottom of the lavatory apron, where the top surface of the lavatory is no higher than 34 inches above the floor. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.19.2, 4.22.6, figure 31.
      4. Unobstructed clear floor space around the toilet that would allow a person using a wheelchair to approach from one side (48 inches minimum required width at the toilet). Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.16.2, 4.22.3.
    2. At the sidewalk between City Hall and City Council Chambers where currently there are two steps, a ramp that has the following will be provided:
      1. a clear width of at least 36 inches;
      2. a slope that does not exceed 1:12 (rise: run);
      3. a cross slope that does not exceed 1:50 (rise:run);
      4. a level landing of at least 60 inches at the top and bottom of the ramp that is at least as wide as the ramp run leading to it;
      5. handrails on both sides of the ramp that extend at least 12 inches beyond the top and bottom of the ramp that are parallel with the ground surface, and are mounted such that the top of the gripping surface is no less than 34 inches and no greater than 38 inches above the ground;
      6. edge protection that is at least 2 inches high along the side of the ramp that prevents people from slipping off the ramp.Standards ァ 4.8, figures 16 and 17.
    3. Two curb ramps that allow access from the street to the sidewalk that are located within close proximity to the City Hall entrance and the City Council Chambers entrance that have the following will be provided:
      1. a clear width of at least 36 inches;
      2. a slope that does not exceed 1:12 (rise:run); and
      3. sides that comply with section 4.7.5 of the Standards. ァ 4.7, figures 11-15.
    4. At the exterior of the entrance doors to the City Council Chambers, the change in level of 1-1/4 inches will be reduced so that it is no more than 1/4 of an inch. Standards ァ 4.5.2.
    5. At the interior of the entrance doors to the City Council Chambers, the change in level of 2-1/2 inches will be accomplished with a ramp that has a clear width of at least 60 inches and a slope that does not exceed 1:12 (rise:run) will be provided. Standards ァァ 4.5.2, 4.8.
    6. At the entrance of the Georgiana Police Department, a ramp that has the following will be provided:
      1. a clear width of at least 36 inches
      2. a slope that does not exceed 1:12 (rise: run);
      3. a cross slope that does not exceed 1:50 (rise:run); and
      4. a level landing at the top of the ramp that is
        1. at least 60 inches deep,
        2. at least as wide as the ramp run leading to it, and
        3. extends at least 18 inches beyond the door width on the latch side. Standards ァ 4.8.
    7. At the entrance of the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum, a ramp that has the following will be provided:
      1. a minimum of three (3) ramp segments;
      2. a clear width of at least 36 inches;
      3. a slope that does not exceed 1:12 (rise:run);
      4. a cross slope that does not exceed 1:50 (rise:run);
      5. a level landing at the top and bottom of each ramp segment that is at least 60 inches by 60 inches in dimension;
      6. handrails on both sides of the ramp that
        1. extend at least 12 inches beyond the top and bottom of each ramp segment,
        2. are parallel to the ground surface, and
        3. are mounted such that the top of the gripping surface is no less than 34 inches and no greater than 38 inches above the ground; and
      7. edge protection that is at least 2 inches high along the side of the ramp that prevents people from slipping off the ramp. Standards ァ 4.8.
    8. An accessible route from the sidewalk to the ground level of the accessible ramp at the entrance of the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum that is stable, firm, slip-resistant and does not have changes in level greater than 1/4 of an inch. Standards ァ 4.5.1.
    9. The toilet room in the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum will be altered as follows:
      1. Insulation on hot water and drain pipes beneath the lavatory will be installed to prevent contact. Standards ァァ 4.19.4, 4.22.6.
      2. A grab bar will be mounted on the wall to the rear of the toilet at 36 inches above the finish floor that is at least 36 inches in length and that extends at least 40 inches from the nearest side wall. Standards ァァ 4.16.4, 4.22.4, figure 29.
      3. A grab bar will be mounted on the wall to the side of the toilet that extends from the rear wall to the edge of the door. Standards ァァ 4.16.4, 4.22.4, figure 29.
      4. A toilet seat that is at least 17 inches above the finish floor, but no higher than 19 inches above the finish floor will be provided. Standards ァァ 4.16.3, 4.22.4.
      5. The route from the driveway to the proposed accessible entrance ramp at the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum will be altered as follows:
        1. The path will be resurfaced so that it is stable, firm and slip resistant. Standards ァ 4.5.1.
        2. Directional signage complying with section 4.30 of the Standards will be provided at the front entrance steps to show the location of the accessible entrance. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.163(b).
  3. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will take steps to ensure that the clear width of the route from the kitchen to the rear hallway leading to the bathroom of the Hank Williams, Sr. Museum, is at least 36 inches in width continuously, and no less than 32 inches at a given point.
  4. Beginning on the effective date of this Agreement, the City will appoint an individual to be responsible for opening the double entrance doors of the City Council Chambers entrance at each meeting or proceeding held there to ensure that persons who use wheelchairs can participate in proceedings and meetings held there.
  5. Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will submit a final written report to the Department summarizing the actions the City has taken pursuant to this Agreement. This report will include photographs, architectural plans, copies of notices posted, and copies of articles published.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. If at any time the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect.
  2. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it determines that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
  3. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  4. In the event that the City fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, all terms of this Agreement shall become enforceable in an appropriate Federal District Court.
  5. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the City or the Department on request.
  6. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  7. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  8. This Agreement will remain in effect for two years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until full compliance with this Agreement by the City has been achieved.

    For the City:



    _________________________      Date:_________________
    LYNN H. WATSON
    Mayor

    City of Georgiana
    P.O. Box 310
    Georgiana, Alabama 36033

    For the United States:

    BILL LANN LEE,
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    for Civil Rights

    By:__________________________      Date:_________________
    JOHN WODATCH, Chief
    ALLISON NICHOL, Deputy Chief
    NAOMI H. MILTON, Attorney
    Disability Rights Section
    Civil Rights Division
    U.S. Department of Justice
    P.O. Box 66738
    Washington, DC 20035-6738

    >
Updated August 6, 2015

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