“By this spring we will have all of the required curb ramps completed,” she told the task force. The settlement allowed the city until the end of 2009 to complete all the ramps and until the end of 2012 to complete sidewalk repairs.
The lawsuit noted that those citizens who use crutches or wheelchairs could not use sidewalks in Lebanon due to how they were constructed.
The new curbs that have been installed not only allow them to move freely around Lebanon, they also provide warnings for people who are visually impaired.
There are special bumps at the edge of each curb which a blind person can feel with a cane to warn them that they are one the edge of a street, said Task Force Chair Bill Durham.
And the final 30 or so curbs are scheduled to be built this year, Phillips pointed out. The original suit called for about 150 curbs to be replaced or built.
“Now we can concentrate on sidewalks,” Durham said.
The city has been repairing sidewalks to comply with the agreement, but was required to give a high priority to the ramps, he added.
The task force was formed in 2004 as part of the requirements of the settlement. It meets every three months at City Hall, usually on the second Tuesday of the month. Members of the task force include Saranne Winfield, Hershey Gheris, Kurt Fagin, Jerri Reese, Carey Moore, Mike Schmidtz and Ray Cravens. Ex-Officio members are Durham, Phillips, City Attorney Andy Wright, Public Works Commissioner Jeff Baines and city employees Lee Ann Batey and Rachel King.
Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.