Tullahoma city officials met with members of the community at the Tullahoma Annex recently to discuss implementing an ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, transition plan for Tullahoma.

The plan intends to identify any barriers to citizen access to public facilities, services, activities, parks, and pedestrian areas within the public right-of-way.

The purpose of the meeting was for officials to speak with the community about any concerns and needs that they have and to receive feedback from the community about what should be in the plan.

Officials at the meeting including Human Resource Director and ADA Coordinator Casta Brice, City Administrator Jennifer Moody, Public Works Director Butch Taylor, Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick, and Parks and Recreation Facility Manager J.P. Kraft. 

Also at the meeting was Scot St. John, with St. John Engineering. He is working with Tullahoma on developing the plan. He is also working with the city of Manchester and Coffee County on their respective ADA transitions plans. St. John will help figure out the cost on the estimates for the improvements.  The plan may take 15 years to complete depending on the amount of money.

“If it’s a little amount of money then we can spend it quickly but my feeling that it’ll require a substantial amount of money to make all the necessary corrections,” said Moody.

When asked about if private properties, like stores, were to a part of the plan, St. John said that they can check the buildings to see if they are adhere to ADA regulations. However, it is up to the private owners to fix any problems.

Some other concerns expressed by community members were transportation and not learning about the development of the ADA transition plan sooner.  For transportation, Moody said the plan is looking at giving the community local alternative means of transportation, like greenways, sidewalks, and crosswalks, and have them accessible. 

“That’s what we are looking to do is make sure that we, through the public infrastructure that we are responsible for, make that accessible to all,” said Moody.

As for members wondering why they weren’t informed about the plan sooner, St. John explained that the meeting, reaching out to community members is the second part of a 24 month process, where the first 12 months were spent on self-evaluating the city and creating a plan.  Then, the second 12 months is spent reaching out to the community to learn what other buildings need improvements.

The next meeting in December will decide on a resolution for the plan and the expected amount to be spent on implanting the plan.

If anyone has any questions or input they can contact Brice at cbrice@tullahomatn.gov or call 931-455-2648.

Kyle Murphy may be reached at kmurphy@tullahomanews.com.

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