Brentwood aldermen on Monday approved the city’s purchase of the property directly east of the firehouse, which will be used to add an elevator shaft onto the building and also handicap parking spots in order to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purchase cost of the property is $200,000.
City officials determined at the previous open meeting, on May 10, that the firehouse doesn’t comply with the ADA because there is no way for handicapped people to get to the second floor.
It needs to comply with the ADA because it is a publicly owned building, the city attorney said. In the first hearing all but one alderman voted to buy the property at 8746 Eulalie Avenue.
The aldermen took the second vote in a closed session, by staff recommendation. That vote was tied 4-4, and Mayor Chris Thornton broke the tie with a yes vote.
Terri Johnson, who oversees Brentwood facilities to see that they are ADA compliant, said anything built after 1992 by a local, state or federal government has to be ADA compliant, so a chairlift retrofit, which had been suggested, won’t work because the law was in effect when the firehouse was built. The St. Louis firm, Horner & Shifrin, was the contractor.
Alderman Andy Leahy asked why no red flags were raised when the elevator was pulled from the design, and both Johnson and now-chief Terry Kurten said they weren’t with the city at the time.
Kurten said that once the building is ADA compliant the department would be open to the meeting rooms being used for public uses, such as meetings for the library.
Kurten said they haven’t budgeted for the engineering and design work for a new elevator, and told Alderman Tom Kramer, so he can’t give an estimate for the cost or time-frame. He said the money is there in the 5-year capital plan.
Reported from Brentwood Youtube.