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City to install handicap-accessible sidewalk, gate at pool

Staff writer

Peabody City Council members heard a report from Councilman Bob Knapp about the plan to install a handicap-accessible gate at the municipal swimming pool. Knapp said that he and Interim Public Works Director Ronnie Harms had examined the area along the west fence line discussed by council members May 27 as a logical spot to install a wheelchair accessible gate and sidewalk.

“After looking things over, we decided that a better position for the gate would be the east side just south of the baby pool,” Knapp said. “There is a water line and an electrical line along the west fence, but the east side is clear of obstructions.”

Knapp further noted that handicap parking is already designated in front of the baby pool and a metal bike rack in the area could easily be moved over to the edge of the park.

“The minimum requirement for an ADA compliant sidewalk is 36 inches, but there are other sizes required for turning a wheelchair or meeting foot traffic,” he said. “The largest width required is 60 inches for turning a wheelchair at a corner.

“By using the east side of the pool we could make the whole sidewalk that wide and meet all possible requirements without interfering with foot traffic or the services at ground level on the west side.”

After discussion, the council approved placing the sidewalk and handicap-accessible gate on the east side.

In a related issue, the city will rent two handicap-accessible portable restrooms for July 4th and a home swim meet on June 28.

In other business:

  • Council members discussed the planning and zoning committee’s proposal for creating a fund to help homeowners pay to fix or replace damaged or missing sidewalks. Most members wanted some re-wording about limitations for spending the funds. After discussion, City Clerk Stephanie Ax was instructed to find the original city ordinance about sidewalk repair and replacement for additional discussion at the next meeting.
  • Mayor Larry Larsen reported that Midwest Mobile Washers had been in town June 4 and had completed washing the exterior of the Peabody water tower in a matter of hours. The cleaning is expected to extend the life of the tower surface by four or five years.
  • Council members unanimously approved a payment of $9,563 to Baker Lofts LLC to pay back taxes under protest on the buildings at 115, 117, 121, 123, and 125 N. Walnut St. When the sale of Pop’s Diner is completed, Baker Lofts LLC will repay the city.
  • Ax reported to the council that the adoption of the Hazard Mitigation Plan was signed and sent to Marion Emergency Management Director Randy Frank. She also informed the council that application has been made for Krishyn Caldwell to become a Notary Public.
  • Council members heard from Ax the new computer server has been installed at city hall and the Pixius representative is now working on service at Peabody Police Department.
  • Council members approved the purchase of an ad to support publication of the annual July 4 celebration schedule.
  • Council member Janice Woodruff asked to have the city employees clean out the debris piled up by running water at city storm drains and ramped curbs.
  • Larsen told the council two individuals had applied for the full-time public works position that is open.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 30 in the city building.

Last modified June 12, 2014

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