Council approves hiring of disabilities act coordinator

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2002


LAPLACE – Physically-handicapped citizens in St. John the Baptist Parish gained an advocate in the parish government, as the parish council recently voted to hire an American Disabilities Act coordinator, to ensure full access for all physically challenged citizens.

Tom Livingston of LaPlace, confined to a wheelchair for the past four years due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident, first approached Parish President Nickie Monica to volunteer for the position. However, now Monica plans to contract with Livingston (amount still unspecified) to develop plans and offer ideas to improve access to restrooms, public telephones, doorways and other challenges.

Another concern for Livingston is to develop an emergency evacuation procedure for the physically disabled

“We are not only legally but morally obligated to making these changes,” Livingston told the council.

The council also:
• Voted down a request to add a sprinkler system to the Roland Borne Memorial Library branch in Edgard. Lester Rainey pushed for the system to be added, but Duaine Duffy pointed out the state fire marshal did not require it to be included when the library was built.
• Voted to approve the hiring of architect John Campo for designing a new central fire station for the St. John Westside Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Helmond Lumar told the council their present quarters housed equipment but had no place for offices or meetings. The department has 130 members, including 65 volunteers.
• Approved the administration’s request to make an offer of $150,000 to buy property adjacent to Ezekiel Jackson Park in Garyville, the funds to derive from the $18 million bond issue.
• Approved a request from the administration to advertise a contract for parish employee uniforms.
• Approved a $19,590 change order to the construction of Convention Center Parkway off U.S. Highway 51, bringing the project up to $254,128, to install a 50-foot extension of water and sewer lines.