By Monica Sanchez
ADA concerns have been an issue as of late in the senior and disabled community in Arcadia. Led by former mayor Gail Marshall, the disabled community has advocated for improvements to the transit system and other discrepancies in Arcadia that don’t follow ADA federal laws. At the city council public hearing on Nov. 7, ADA concerns were brought up again by citizens in public comments.
The Arcadia City Council was aware of such concerns and sought to rectify some of them with the assistance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The Community Development Block Grant is a program that Arcadia has been involved with for over 40 years. Every year, the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission allocates a certain number of dollars to Arcadia through this CDBG program, and these funds are typically used to assist moderate and low income families as well as the disabled.
Assistant City Manager Jason Kruckeberg confirmed that Arcadia has $225,000 in unused CDBG funds.
At the city council meeting, City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto stated that “The goals of this program are to improve the community. We’re asking you to use all of the funds for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements.”
In reviewing the realm of possibilities for additions to the statement of objectives and projects for the use of CDBG funds, the Arcadia City Council had anticipated some ADA concerns by proposing city-wide improvements to meet ADA laws.
Kruckeberg explained the city council’s plans to use unspent funds on ADA improvement programs concerning city facilities such as “city hall, council chambers, community center, the library, access ramps, hardware on doors, and handicap parking stalls.” Kruckeberg declared that $175,000 of the CDBG funds would go to the aforementioned improvement projects, while the rest of the funds, $50,000, would be allocated towards ADA improvements to transit stops. The city council would like to make transit stops more accessible and ensure that ramps are available for disabled citizens.
City Council member Roger Chandler said “I think this is a wise idea. Obviously, these ADA things do have a precedence because people are absolutely dependent on it…This is real good work on part of our staff to be able to to take care of some overdue projects that we need to do according to law and to benefit these folks that need assistance.”
No proposed timeline was given for when Arcadia citizens can expect to see ADA improvements, but the CDBG funds guarantee that improvements are coming.