WALKER-The Cass County Board Tuesday set a public hearing for 9 a.m. Feb. 6 at the courthouse in Walker for the highway department's Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.
The plan identifies 71 sites on county roads, largely in municipalities, where curbs impede accessibility for persons using a wheelchair and where access would be difficult for entering county buildings.
Cass County Highway Department conducted a survey of county buildings and highways last June to identify sites where improvements need to be made.
County Engineer Darrick Anderson told the county board there are two issues the county faces. One is to continue to make more ramps at curbs as roads are constructed. The other likely involves completely replacing some sidewalks leading to county buildings to get a reasonable slope from the sidewalk into buildings.
The street ramp issue likely will cost $498,000, he said, with the sidewalk/building access issue likely costing another $500,000.
Currently, the plan calls for making the county 80 percent compliant after 20 years. It proposes to make improvements with ongoing road construction projects and adding some special projects.
Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk said 20 years is too long. He asked whether the county could use some of its local option sales tax receipts to speed up the process.
Commissioner Bob Kangas said it is most important to do it right whenever the county makes the improvements.
Public comment will be received at the February hearing before the county board considers adopting it.