Elevator To Make County Complex Accessible

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Grant money is being sought to make the county offices in Payson more accessible to people with disabilities.

For as long as the facility has housed the area's county services, if someone with a mobility problem needed help from the second floor, a call was made from the first floor and the county employee came downstairs.

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The elevator proposed for the county building in Payson will be located between the west stairwell and the entry into the courthouse area. If all goes according to plan, it will be built in early 2007, operational by June 2007.

The second floor of the county building in Payson, at the corners of Beeline Highway, West Frontier and South Colcord, houses the county supervisor's office, the planning and development office and the county attorney's office.

"We're not ADA compliant," said Supervisor Tommie Martin. "And on a cold day when my arthritis is flaring up, those stairs look formidable."

Martin said almost every day someone from the second floor is called downstairs to help a resident. As the area grows, the calls are more frequent.

The town facilities are all ADA compliant, according to Town Manager Fred Carpenter. The compliance includes doors that open with the press of a button at town hall, curb cuts at intersections making sidewalks accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility aids, handicap parking and enhanced phone services for the hearing impaired.

The county is seeking to use part of its Community Development Block Grant money to construct the elevator. It is estimated the cost will be between $300,000 and $350,000, Martin said.

The success of the county's application will not be known until the fall or winter of 2006. If everything goes smoothly, construction will begin in spring 2007 and the elevator should be operational by June 2007, Martin said.

The county has already spent $40,000 for the plans, and this week had the substructure of the courthouse tested to see if it will be able to hold the weight of an elevator.

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