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Handicapped Accessibility a Problem

9/13/17 Council Meeting

PERTH AMBOY – Resident Stephanie Márquez-Villafañe wanted to thank the Mayor and Council, “I talked to her in regards to making November Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Because of Mayor Diaz’s efforts, a resolution was drawn up and passed by the Council to make this happen.”

Stephanie then spoke about the challenges she’s having as a handicapped individual. “Outsiders of the handicapped community can be ignorant. I am disappointed with Code Enforcement. King Plaza, which was built in 2008 does not have adequate handicapped or van parking accommodations for their tenants. Barriers are not provided. I’ve met with Deputy Police Chief Cattano and other police representatives about this problem.”

Council President Petrick asked Stephanie, “Do you have written documentation pertaining to meetings you’ve had with different departments pertaining to this issue?”

Stephanie answered, “Yes. I also have maps showing where handicapped accessibility should be and hasn’t been implemented, yet.”

Petrick continued, “Different agreements are made and can we (the Council) get maps that state which are County streets and roads?”

Stephanie replied, “The City is not updated to ADA Laws when it comes to our streets and sidewalks.”

Business Administrator Adam Cruz stated, “I met with Stephanie and her mother, and changes were made in the marina regarding handicapped accessibility. We looked at the library, too, but it’s only been a month that we have started working with Stephanie and we will continue to do so. And yes, we have encountered problems with HUD Housing and County Roads when it comes to ADA compliance.”

Resident Barbara Sottilaro came up to speak and mentioned that the library was supposed to be handicapped accessible 20 years ago. “Renovations were made and the leaking stopped, but the site is still not ADA accessible. The City raises money for fireworks, but not to make the library ADA accessible. The people who sponsor the fireworks can give to the library.”

Council President Bill Petrick mentioned, “The elevator (that was supposed to be built) for the library is held up because of the contractor. Book shelves are part of the structure. We do not have a contractor for the library, now.”

Sottilaro continued, “Eleni Glykis, the Library Director said grant money for library renovations were passed.”

Councilman Gonzalez commented, “It’s sad that we can only fit 60 people in the library. We need a new library. This library is historic, but it’s also limited.”

Sottilaro continued, “I had asked Mayor Vas about a new library, but people were adamant about keeping the old library.”

Councilman Gonzalez answered, “We need to emphasize education.”

Sottliaro was also concerned about people who sit on the steps of the library. She mentioned the Friends of the Library fundraising events  which include book sales and the Barnes and Noble Book Fair.

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