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Kershaw taking steps to comply with ADA

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Buildings to become more handicapped-accessible

By Jesef Williams

KERSHAW – The town of Kershaw is taking steps to ensure all of its public-use buildings are equipped to accommodate people with physical limitations. 

Town Administrator Bryan Pettit spoke to Town Council during its Nov. 19 meeting about being in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Municipalities must comply in order to receive certain government funding. 

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments (COG) visited Kershaw to perform an assessment of its buildings and make ADA-related recommendations for upgrades. 

The main concerns were restrooms at the town-owned recreation center at Stevens Park and the old library on Matson Street that is used for meetings. 

The restrooms in both buildings need to be made handicapped-accessible. 

“That’s the biggest issue we see right now,” Pettit said. 

He said the restrooms at the swimming pool at Stevens Park need slight modifications, as well. 

Aside from that, the COG recommended that the door knobs at those two buildings be replaced with a lever-style handle. 

The recently-built Hampton Street town hall, though, is in compliance regarding doors and restrooms. 

An estimate of renovation costs wasn’t given Nov. 19. However, Pettit said the money would be built into the town’s 2013-14 budget. 

Councilman Morris Russell offered a suggestion. 

“I’d like to see us start down that list now and not wait until a new budget,” he said. 

Pettit said the town will start replacing the door knobs “relatively quickly.” The restroom upgrades, though, will come later. 

He said a deadline hasn’t been given for the modifications to be completed. 

“You should be fine as long as you have the plan in place and that you’re continuously working on it,” Pettit said. 

DHEC requirement 

Pettit also told Town Council that some of the town’s water customers have not bought and installed backflow-prevention devices for their water lines. 

The device is needed to stop fertilizer and other chemicals from getting into the town’s water flow, thus causing contamination. 

Certain business owners and customers who use water-irrigation systems are among those who would need to comply. 

“We’re going to have to do something to require people to have those devices,” Pettit said. 

In a similar update, Pettit also let council members know that they’ll need to act on an ordinance requiring restaurants to install grease traps. 

The town’s treatment plant manager has cautioned of grease getting into the water flow. 

“It gets costly,” Pettit said. “We’ve had to add different chemicals to treat the grease.” 

Other news 

Also at its Nov. 19 meeting, Kershaw Town Council:

– Voted 6-0 to appoint Lanny Williams to the town’s golf committee. Councilman Michael Cook was absent. 

– Approved final reading to amend the town’s business license ordinance to conform with a new state law regarding insurance brokers. 

The vote was 6-0. 

South Carolina is now in compliance with the federal Non-admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010, which impacts the standards for allocating premium taxes to states. 

According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, states that are not the home state for purposes of the allocation of broker premium taxes are no longer allowed to collect tax on businesses placed in their states. 

 

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152