SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE CITY OF MILTON, WASHINGTON
Department of Justice Press Release
- The parties to this settlement agreement (Agreement) are the United States Department of Justice (United States) and the City of Milton, Washington (City).
- This matter was initiated by a complaint against the City under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, which was filed with the United States. The complainant alleged that certain City recreation programs, services, activities, and facilities are not accessible to individuals with mobility disabilities and that individuals with mobility disabilities are, therefore, excluded from participation in, and denied the benefits of, City recreation programs, services, and activities in violation of title II of the ADA.
- The United States conducted an on-site investigation of the complaint, which focused on the City’s recreation programs, services, and activities that operate in Triangle Park (15th and Milton Way); West Milton Park (700 Kent Street); and along the annual summer parade route and at the location of the annual summer festival (Milton Way/Triangle Park). During its investigation, the United States substantiated the allegations of the complaint.
- The parties have decided to resolve this matter as set forth below without further investigation or adjudication of factual and legal disputes.
- The ADA applies to the City because it is a “public entity” as defined by title II , 42 U.S.C. § 12131, and its implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.
- Under title II, the City is required to ensure that all of its programs, services, and activities, including those involving recreation and entertainment, are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149 - 35.151.
- The Attorney General of the United States (Attorney General) is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate complaints alleging violations of title II of the ADA and the title II implementing regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the United States fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F.
- In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter regarding all matters contained within this Agreement, except as provided in the section entitled “Implementation and Enforcement.”
C. REMEDIAL ACTION
- Within three months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will submit for review by the United States a plan to ensure that people with disabilities, including persons who use wheelchairs, are able to approach and watch the annual parade at locations along the parade route and to participate in the post-parade festivities held on the grounds of Triangle Park. The plan will ensure that persons with disabilities are afforded a view of the parade that is comparable to the views afforded to members of the general public who do not have disabilities. After review and approval of the plan by the United States, the City will implement this policy, publish a notice about the policy in the local newspaper, publish the policy on the City’s official website, and include information about the policy in all publicity concerning the annual city parade and festival for the life of this Agreement.
- The City will comply with the cited provisions of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, app. A, when taking the actions required by this Agreement.
- Altered Facilities: In order to ensure that the spaces and elements in City facilities, for which alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, the City will take the actions listed in Attachment A.
- Program Access in Existing Facilities: In order to ensure that each of the City’s programs, services, and activities operating at an unaltered, existing facility, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by persons with mobility impairments, the City will take the actions listed in Attachment B.
D. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
- Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at yearly anniversaries of the effective date of this Agreement until it expires, the City will submit written reports to the United States summarizing the actions the City has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include detailed photographs showing measurements, architectural plans, work orders, notices published in the newspaper, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations or equipment.
- Throughout the life of this Agreement, consistent with 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(a), the City will maintain the accessibility of its programs, activities, services, facilities, and equipment, and will take whatever actions are necessary (such as routine testing of accessibility equipment and routine accessibility audits of its programs and facilities) to do so. This provision does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs. 28 C.F.R. § 35.133(b).
E. IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
- If at any time the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the United States in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the United States the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the United States, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
- The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States believes that the City has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify the City in writing and will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in Federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce title II and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement for the City to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.
- Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the United States's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
- This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it shall be made available to any person by the City or the United States on request.
- This Agreement, including Attachments A and B, constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the City’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
- This Agreement will remain in effect for three years or until the parties agree that all actions required by the Agreement have been completed, whichever is later.
- The person signing for the City of Milton, Washington represents that she is authorized to bind the City to this Agreement.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
For the City of Milton, Washington:
City of Milton
1000 Laurel Street
Milton, WA 98354
For the United States:
THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
PHILIP L. BREEN, Special Legal Counsel
JEANINE WORDEN, Deputy Chief
JENNIFER K. MCDANNELL, Supervisory Attorney
Disability Rights Section
LYN SOWDON, Investigator
MICHELE ANTONIO MALLOZZI, Architect
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYA
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 514-7821 (fax)
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July 14, 2010