Mar 23, 2012

Troutdale Council Continues To Ignore ADA Laws

  After Troutdale's City Hall was condemned  last year by the city's building inspector, the City Council moved its meetings to the city's City Conference Building (CCB) at 223 SE Buxton Ave.

Fellow Troutdale resident John Wilson recently asked City of Troutdale Building Official  Dick Bohlmann if the CCB's restrooms needed to be ADA compliant.

Bohlmann told Wilson they weren't, and haven't been ADA compliant since the city purchased the building in the early 1990's.  Bohlmann also told Wilson that Troutdale's recently condemned City Hall restrooms were never in compliance with ADA standards, despite being the meeting place for City Council Meetings, City Court sessions,  and Planning Commission meetings for many years.

Bohlmann also gave a short history of the CCB building. It was originally Troutdale's US Post Office. After the USPS moved to its new building in 1989, a church purchased the CCB. The church was given one year to make the restrooms ADA compliant as a condition of occupancy. But they never made them ADA compliant. Several years later, the City of Troutdale purchased the building. The City also failed to upgrade the building's restrooms to comply with ADA requirements.

Fast forward to a Troutdale City Council Meeting a few weeks ago. Wilson, speaking during the public comment portion of the City Council meeting, brought up the issue of the CCB restroom lack of ADA compliance and requested that the City Council direct city staff to bring the building into ADA compliance. Wilson asked how could the City require Troutdale residents, businesses, and developers to spend thousands of dollars to comply with ADA requirements when the City had ignored ADA laws for years.

 The City Council refused to appropriate funds to bring the CCB building restrooms into ADA compliance. According to Wilson, a source from the city government stated this could be done for around $5,000. Even now, the CCB building is used weekly by city committees and local clubs and groups including the YMCA.

The City Council has directed the City Manager to enter into multi-year lease agreements for a non-city owned building in downtown Troutdale for meeting space to hold their City Council, Court, Planning Ccommission meetings etc. 

The City Council has appropriated funds to bring this non city building's restroom and a wall ($5,000) into ADA compliance as well as another $10,000 in annual rent to hold their City Council, Court and planning meetings in.  This pencils out to approx. to 70 meetings a year at a cost of $214.00 per meeting (1st year costs $15,000) the first year.  

Say Goodbye To Your Tax Dollars, Troutdalians!
 Troutdale taxpayers: Is this ok with you? $5,000 to make a city owned building's restrooms ADA compliant, versus  spending $5,000 to make a non city owned building ADA compliant in addition to 1st year costs of $15,000 in rent?  What other buildings in Troutdale are out of ADA compliance?

This belongs in the "It's easy to spend other people's money" category, if you ask me.

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