The Lebanon City Council discussed an ordinance that would update its Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan from 2004 at its work session held Thursday.

In addition to meeting new accessibility standards, the update would make sure the city stays eligible for federal and state grant programs.

Representatives from consulting firm Kimley-Horn attended the meeting to discuss the proposed framework, which has an estimated cost of $326,800 associated with facility evaluation according to a copy of the plan.

"Since 2004, lots of stuff has changed," Andy Gillespie of Kimley-Horn said. "There's some new laws that have passed that change some regulations, so this document is a proposal to update (Lebanon's existing) document."

Under the plan, city-owned buildings, parks and areas like sidewalks and bridges would be reviewed for compliance with ADA standards from 2010 and accessibility guidelines from 2011. The city would then work to make any necessary modifications over the next five years.

"Back in 2004, we had a study done for each of our buildings and things that weren't quite accessible," Lebanon Engineering Director Regina Santana said. "That's how the ramp (into city hall) got built, one of the utility windows that's lower, that's why. There's a lot of things that we've done that other cities are just now going to be looking at and starting to work on, so we're worlds away from what most cities are doing."

SEE ADA/PAGE A3

Projects Lebanon has undertaken since its 2004 plan are also reflected in the updated draft, and the city has appointed Kathleen Vail to serve as the ADA coordinator for the project. Her contact information is available on the city's website.

"With an ADA Transition Plan, you have to have an ADA coordinator," Santana said. "If somebody has an issue … that's the person that's the main contact for our community and our employees."

Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash also introduced a proposal that would see the city attempt to pull in more interstate traffic through a pair of billboards, which the council as a whole is set to discuss at its meeting Tuesday.

"There's a beautiful mural (on the square) that has Lebanon spelled out across this way," he said. "It has pictures inside the letters of Cumberland University, Pickett Chapel and several other different things. What we're talking about doing is making two billboards (with that design) on the interstate, one coming from the west and one coming from the east."

According to Ash, the total cost estimate for the project is $26,000 to display the billboards for a year. He said he has spoken with two organizations that would be willing to contribute funding, but declined to name them pending a decision from their board members.

"I think they want to come on board, but whether they do or not I think it's a good idea for Lebanon," Ash said. "To advertise out on the interstate and pull some of these people off … to get them to come over here and buy some gas."

The Lebanon City Council's next regular session meeting is slated for Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the City of Lebanon Administration Building, 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

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