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Gregg County readies for compliance work

By Glenn Evans
July 9, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Gregg County commissioners hired architects Monday to prepare and oversee an expansive project to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The hiring of Hugman Architecture Construction follows a countywide assessment conducted a few years ago, Purchasing Agent Shelia Embrey told commissioners.

"We decided (from that assessment) we needed to hire professionals that can address all these issues," Embrey said.

The undertaking affects all county-owned buildings, including satellite justice of the peace offices and the sub-courthouses in Kilgore and on West Marshall Avenue.

Embrey said complying with the accessibility act could entail raising some public counters or creating space beneath water fountains. Doors cannot weigh more than 5 pounds under the act, which also requires offices the public visits to have a 5-foot turning area for wheelchairs.

"It could be something really simple," she said. "Or, it could not be."

Aside from fees for outlining specific projects, the contract does not outlay funds. That will occur as the projects are refined and contractors bid for the work, Embrey said.

"It's against the (state) statutes to ask them for pricing," she said. "Everything you're building, they'd get a cost together and you'd get that before you vote... We only received one response, but it was from a candidate that always has done a high service for Gregg County on any project."

In other action Monday, the court OK'd routine purchases, including an $896 communications radio for Pct. 1 and $71,000 for a water truck and a pickup in Pct. 4.

During the open forum in the meeting, Commissioner Darryl Primo asked his fellow commissioner to consider including software that allows people to submit requests online to postpone or be excused from jury duty.

Primo made the suggestion for upcoming workshops to draw up a budget for 2012-13.

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