No Laughing Matter…
Loudon County gets Shafted and So Do Taxpayers!
The Budget Committee wasted no time recommending approval of Mayor Arp’s request to fund his county offices renovations. According to the purchasing director, two bids were received. The lowest bid was to Buckhead for $187,400 for the 1200 sq. ft. renovations. That amount does not include another $22,000 for furniture/furnishings for the Mayor, his secretary and others. Loudon County commissioners will vote on these two proposed expenditures at the August 6th commission meeting.
But, Budget Committee members had
other plans when it came to recommending spending $2500 for engineering
costs to start preliminary work on the installation of an elevator at
the Courthouse Annex. The elevator installation was part of a previous
Settlement Agreement between Loudon County and U.S. Justice Department
regarding American Disabilities Act compliance issues. Budget officials
and others sat and joked about getting the Shaft but if the truth were
known, we the people got the Shaft when these jokers were elected to
public office! Listen for yourself.
Why do these elected officials appear unconcerned, insensitive or lacking compassion for our senior citizen population, this isn’t just a citizens with disabilities issue? Loudon County is an aging community comprised of retirees and many baby-boomers and as people live longer, mobility issues will become even more important.
On July 25, 2003, Loudon County Mayor George Miller and county commissioners signed a Settlement Agreement with the United States Justice Department, which said in part “…Within three years of the effective date of this Agreement, provide an elevator to ensure an interior accessible route between both floors of this facility and ensure that all elevator elements comply with the Standards.” http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/loudon.htm#anchor336692
Note: Barge Waggoner designed the Courthouse Annex. It was constructed after the passage of the American Disabilities Act. Flooding has plagued the lower level of the Annex during heavy or prolonged rains, in part due to grading issues and poor design. Heavy rainfall interrupted a planning meeting when water entered the room.