Homer City Council passes accessibility resolution

Aug 15, 2017

Credit City of Homer

The Homer City Council passed a resolution Monday aimed at making Homer a universally accessible city. Council member David Lewis proposed the measure, which encourages businesses and the city to work towards improving accessibility for those with disabilities.

Several public comments were given in support of the resolution, but there was some pushback on the council. The panel passed a resolution last year, forming the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Committee. The resolution tasked the committee with forming a transition plan for the city.

Council member Tom Stroozas argued Lewis’ resolution was redundant.

“This council appropriated some $25,000 in the 2017 budget for that, and that was to help with the committee in the first step of the transition plan,” Stroozas explained. “I’d kind of like to see what we’re getting for our $25,000 before we vote on anything like this.”

Lewis pushed back against Stroozas’ comment, saying the resolution would create awareness in the business community.

“This is bringing up as we move along, as businesses are becoming a little more aware that they are losing business, that we may see in future that yes, we can advertise ourselves as a universally accessible city,” Lewis said.

Council member Catriona Reynolds added that the resolution shows intent towards becoming compliant and may protect the city from ADA violations.

The resolution also allows the ADA committee to explore joining the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities program.  The program lists and advertises cities that meet its standards for accessibility.

Council members Heath Smith and Shelly Erickson voiced concerns about joining the program, but Smith voted in favor of the resolution. Stroozas and Erickson cast their votes against the measure.