Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The City Of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-86-90

BACKGROUND

      This matter was initiated by a compliance review under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, by the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the City of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin ("City"). The compliance review was scheduled by the Disability Rights Section (DRS) of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to determine if the City has taken the steps necessary to make its programs, services, and activities accessible to people with disabilities.

      The Department is authorized under 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188, to investigate 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. The Department completed an on site investigation of City services, programs, and activities at City facilities and identified multiple title II violations, including programs, services, and activities held at the City Hall, Police Station, Library and Community Center, Wisconsin Dells Pool, Health and Safety and Recreation Building, and Bowman Park. 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 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of any further investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

  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 the facilities listed in this Agreement.
  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 are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

    REMEDIAL ACTION

  6. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will add a TTY/TDD telephone number to its system for non-emergency administrative calls to the City.
  7. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will establish a written procedure to ensure that non-emergency TTY/TDD calls are returned by the appropriate City official on the same day as received. If the caller's concerns or questions cannot be handled promptly, the procedures will require a City employee to speak to the caller on the same day in order to establish a time frame for the call-back.
  8. The City will publish the non-emergency administrative TTY/TDD telephone number in the local telephone book in its next printing and on its Internet web site within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement.
  9. In order to ensure that programs offered at City Hall are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. Modify the ramp in the City Council Chambers in compliance with the Standards so that it does not have an abrupt change in level. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(1), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.5.2, 4.3.8.
    2. At the existing men's and women's public toilet rooms, install signage containing the international symbol of accessibility that provides directions to the accessible unisex toilet room. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(7)(d), 4.1.3(16)(b), 4.30.7(a).
    3. At the existing men's and women's public toilet rooms, install signage, using raised and Brailled characters, on the nearest wall adjacent to the latch side of each door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the finish floor and a person can approach within 3 inches of the signs without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of a door. Standards ァァ 4.30.4, 4.30.6.
    4. Ensure that the route to the unisex toilet room is accessible and has no changes in level greater than 1/2" and is at least 36" wide and at least 32" wide at doorways. Standards ァァ 4.3.3, 4.3.8, 4.13.5.
    5. Convert the employee "unisex" toilet room into an accessible "unisex" toilet room such that all of the stall's elements, including signage, entry door, water closet, size and arrangement, grab bars, controls, mirror, lavatory, and dispensers comply with the Standards. Standards ァァ 4.13, 4.22, 4.16 and Figure 29, 4.19 and Figures 31 & 32, 4.26, 4.27, 4.30.
    6. Move the drinking fountain so that the spout outlet is no more than 36 inches from the floor unless cups are provided. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(10), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.15.2.
    7. At the Public Works and Payment Counters, provide a counter that has either of the following or provide a programmatic solution:
      1. a portion that is at least 36 inches in length where the top surface of the counter is a maximum height of 36 inches, or
      2. an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches in close proximity to the main counter. Standards ァ 7.2(2).
    8. Install door handles/locksets that do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist on all doors leading to accessible spaces. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(7), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.9.
    9. Install office identification signs that have raised characters and Braille and are mounted on the walls adjacent to the latch side of office doors at 60 inches above the finish floor to the centerline of the sign. Where there is no wall space on the latch side of the door, place signs on the nearest adjacent wall. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(16), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.30.
  1. In order to ensure that programs offered at the Police Station are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    • Install signage designating the men's and women's public toilet rooms that has raised characters and Braille and is mounted on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door at 60 inches above the finish floor to the centerline of the sign. Where there is no wall space on the latch side of the door, place signs on the nearest adjacent wall. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(16), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.30.
    • Adjust the door closers in the men's and women's toilet rooms so that the force required to open the door will be no more than 5 pounds. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.11(2)(b), 4.22.2.
    • Move the drinking fountain so that the spout outlet is no more than 36 inches from the floor unless cups are provided. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(10), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.15.2.
    • Provide a counter at Dispatch that has either of the following or provide a programmatic solution:
      1. a portion that is at least 36 inches in length where the top surface of the counter is a maximum height of 36 inches, or
      2. an auxiliary counter with a maximum height of 36 inches in close proximity to the main counter. Standards ァ 7.2(2).
    • Provide signs that designate the accessible parking space in compliance with the requirements of the Standards. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.6.4, 4.30.
    • Revise Police Department written policy to reflect the City's policy and procedure of transporting individuals with mobility impairments directly to the County jail.
  1. In order to ensure that programs offered at the Library and Community Center are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. Provide a minimum of 18 inches of latch-side maneuvering clearance inside the entrances of the men's and women's toilet rooms or provide a power-assisted or automatic door. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.6, 4.22.2, Figure 25.
    2. . Adjust the door closers in the men's and women's toilet rooms so that the force required to open the door will be no more than 5 pounds. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.11(2)(b), 4.22.2.
    3. In the men's and women's toilet rooms, locate the coat hook no higher than 54 inches above the floor. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.2.6, 4.22.7, 4.27.3.
    4. In the men's and women's toilet rooms, reposition the back grab bars in the designated accessible stalls so that the distance from the side wall to the end of the grab bar is not more than 6 inches. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.17.6, 4.22.4, Figure 30(a), (c).
    5. Re-mount the telephone so that its coin slot is no higher than 54 inches above the finish floor. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(17), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.2.6, 4.31.3.
  2. In order to ensure that programs offered at the Wisconsin Dells Pool are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. Provide signs that designate the accessible parking space in compliance with the requirements of the Standards. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(5), 4.1.2(7)(a), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.6.4, 4.30.
    2. Alter the abrupt changes in level where the driveway meets the entrance sidewalk and where the sidewalk meets the entrance so that there are no abrupt changes in level greater than 0.25 of an inch. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(1), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.5.2, 4.3.8.
    3. When remodeling the men's and women's shower rooms, ensure that an accessible shower stall is created with accessible elements, including the entrance, seat, controls, shower unit, curb, enclosure, grab bars, and stall dimensions. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.21, 4.26, 4.27.4.
  3. In order to ensure that programs offered at the Health and Safety and Recreation Building are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 6 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. Adjust the door closers in the men's and women's toilet rooms so that the force required to open the door will be no more than 5 pounds. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.11(2)(b), 4.22.2.
    2. In the men's and women's toilet rooms, locate the coat hook no higher than 54 inches above the floor. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.2.6, 4.22.7, 4.27.3.
    3. Mount the toilet paper in the men's and women's toilet rooms so that the dispenser allows continuous paper flow and is mounted below the side grab bar no more than 36 inches from the back wall and at least 19 inches high. Standards

      ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.17.3, 4.22.4, Figure 30(d).

    4. In the men's and women's toilet rooms, reposition the toilet or the partition in each designated accessible stall so that the toilet's centerline is 18 inches from the wall. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.17.3, 4.22.4, Figure 30.
    5. Modify the threshold at the entrance to the office in compliance with the Standards so that it does not have an abrupt change in level. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(1), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.5.2, 4.3.
    6. Reposition the toilet in the unisex toilet room so that the centerline is 18 inches from the wall. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.16.2, 4.22.4, Figure 28.
    7. Install signage near the unisex toilet room that indicates the direction of the accessible public toilet rooms in the Recreation area. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(7), 4.30.
    8. Install a door at the training room entrance that has a minimum clear opening of 32 inches. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(7), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.13.5.
  4. In order to ensure that programs offered at Bowman Park are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the City will complete the following actions within 9 months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. Mount the toilet paper in the men's and women's toilet rooms so that the dispenser allows continuous paper flow and is mounted below the side grab bar no more than 36 inches from the back wall and at least 19 inches high. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.17.3, 4.22.4, Figure 30(d).
    2. Ensure that the toilets in the men's and women's toilet rooms are 17 to 19 inches high measured to the top of the toilet seat. Standards ァァ 4.1.3(11), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.17.3, 4.22.4, Figure 30(d).
    3. Install edge protection that complies with the Standards on the exterior ramp at the entrance of the facility. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(1), 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.3.8, 4.8.7.
    4. Maintain an accessible route from the ice rink to the "Stable" entrance. Standards ァァ 4.1.2(2), 4.3, 4.5.

    IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

  5. At 60, 180, and 360 days after the effective date of this Agreement, the City will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the City has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include photographs, architectural plans, notices published in the newspapers and on the Internet, and copies of adopted policies.
  6. If at any time the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, 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 with the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification to this Agreement will not take effect and all terms and conditions of the Agreement remain enforceable.
  7. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the City in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 immediately enforceable in an appropriate Federal court.
  10. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be provided to any person by the City or the Department on request.
  11. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  12. 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.
  13. 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. The signers of this document represent that they are able to bind their parties to this Agreement.

For the City:


By:_________________________      Date _________________
   MAYOR CRAIG P. CASEY
   City of Wisconsin Dells
   P.O. Box 655
   Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

For the United States:

BILL LANN LEE,
Acting Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights

By:__________________________      Date _________________
   JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
   RENEE M. WOHLENHAUS, Deputy Chief
   SUSAN B. REILLY, Supervisory Attorney
   LISA M. LEVINE, Investigator
   Disability Rights Section
   Civil Rights Division
   U.S. Department of Justice
   P.O. Box 66738
   Washington, DC 20035-6738

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Updated August 6, 2015

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