PARIS, TN: Dean, Stone honored by state House

Paris Police Patrolman Steve Dean Jr. and dispatcher Heather Stone listen as state Rep. Bruce Griffey (not pictured) reads state House resolutions honoring them as police officer and dispatcher of the year, respectively.

The Paris Commission Thursday received an in-depth summary of the just-completed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan.

Travis Martin, principal/chief engineer for TLM Associates in Jackson, presented a comprehensive report on the goals and objectives of the ADA.

“As far as I have determined, however, Paris is first in West Tennessee in being ADA-compliant,” Martin said.

The transition plan calls for identifying and listing physical obstacles for disabled people in buildings, parking lots, parks and other recreational facilities.

Also included were pedestrian rights of way for signalized intersections, sideway corridors and curb ramps.

The overall plan called for detailed descriptions of methods the city uses and will use to make all the facilities accessible.

The report totals more than 1,700 pages and includes extensive photos of site investigations of eight city buildings, 10 parks, 24 signalized intersections, more than 30 miles of sidewalk corridors and almost 200 unsignalized intersections and driveway intersections.

Findings included in the report were that some accessible parking spaces do not have access aisles or signs, some building entrances do not have compliant slopes and several buildings have exterior amenities with no access to them.

In just the restrooms category, issues included lavatories higher than the required 34 inches, no ADA accessible urinals anywhere and few fully accessible stalls.

The eight buildings mentioned are Paris city hall, the public works facility, Paris Fire Department Station 2, the Paris-Henry County Landfill, the Krider Performing Arts Center, the Atkins-Porter Recreation Center and the Paris-Henry County Animal Shelter.

Issues in city parks include accessible parking spaces with no access aisles or signs, no accessible routes to park amenities such as playgrounds, noncompliant concession stands and no accessible seating areas at ball fields.

Intersection issues include curb ramp running slopes greater than 8.33 percent and missing or noncompliant curb ramp landing areas along with other issues.

Commissioners, after hearing the report, passed a resolution adopting the ADA self-evaluation and transition plan.

The city now has 30 years to fix all the problems in order to receive transportation funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


In other action, commissioners approved the low bid of Milan-based Nsite, Inc. for site development of the splash pad project at Eiffel Tower Park.

The bid was for slightly more than $591,000 contingent upon review and approval by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Recreation Educational Services.

The commission also approved a resolution authorizing matching funds and for Mayor Carlton Gerrell to execute the necessary documents to apply for a 2020 Transportation Alternatives Grant.

City Manager Kim Foster said, if received, the funds would be used to construct a sidewalk on Fairgrounds Road from East Wood Street to Royal Oak Drive. It would continue then on Royal Oak to Lone Oak.

“As you know, this area is extremely congested with pedestrian traffic during major events such as the Fish Fry and Henry County Fair,” Foster added.

The grant would total some $1.2 million with the city’s share being $336,000.

Another resolution passed authorizes the city to participate in a Driver Safety matching grant program.

The commissioners approved several board appointments.

Gayle Griffith was reappointed to a three-year term and Melvin Way was appointed to his first on the city Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.  Way replaces Sam Cox, who declined reappointment.

Georg Todd was appointed to another three-year term on the ADA Advisory Board.

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