A seemingly straightforward proposal to add an accessible entry ramp to the east side of the Morton Civic Center has been temporarily waylaid.
City staff proposed a $100,000 upgrade to one of the entrances on the east side – the true front – of the Civic Center. Several aldermen, however, asked for additional information and said they preferred to have the money spent on improving accessibility to the back entrance, which is used by most people.
“It’s probably controversial of me to say this,” said Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, “but rather than spending more than $100,000 on the front, I would like to see the back door more accessible as well.” The front entry designated for the upgrade is “not the grand entrance,” she added.
“I would like to see a roadmap of the plan,” said Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward. “I can see that perhaps this might not be the best way to go before our next meeting,” he added.
“It seems like there’s a better way to do this,” said Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward. She said there is no handicapped parking available in the front of the building, “so if you’re going to drop off someone, you’re going to go to the back.”
“I think we should make the back entrance more accessible by virtue of a winding driveway for dropping off people,” said Ald. Rainey.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said he did not know whether the building was required to have a second accessible entrance but “we thought that there should be an east-side ADA entrance.”
Mr. Bobkiewicz then removed the item from the July 9 City Council agenda, to be discussed at a later meeting.