DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NUMBER 204-39-60
Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases
A. SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION
This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the City of Mantorville, Minnesota ("City"). The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant alleges that each City owned facility is not accessible to individuals with mobility impairments. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the City Hall/Fire Station, the Opera House, and Riverside Park are inaccessible, with no accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Because the City receives financial assistance from the Department of Justice, the investigation was also conducted under the authority of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G.
The Department expanded the scope of the investigation to include the City's compliance with the following title II requirements:
The Department limited its program access review to those of the City's programs, services, and activities that operate in the following facilities: City Hall/Fire Station, Riverside Park, and the Opera House. The following facilities have alterations that commenced after January 26, 1992, which thus must comply with the ADA's new construction/alterations requirements: the City Hall/Fire Station and Riverside Park. The Department also reviewed the accessibility of the polling station located at the Fire Station.
1. The ADA applies to the City because it is a "public entity" as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).
2. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the compliance of the City with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure a voluntary compliance agreement. 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 Department fail to secure voluntary compliance.
3. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 42, Subpart G, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the City's compliance with § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to issue findings, and, where appropriate to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 29 U.S.C. § 794 and 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.530, 42.108-110, to suspend or terminate federal financial assistance authorized by the Department of Justice to the City should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G or to bring a civil suit to enforce the rights of the United States under applicable federal, state, or local law.
C. ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE CITY
4. The City conducted a self-evaluation in 1995 to comply with § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It developed a transition plan in May 1995. The documents show a thorough review conducted by the City with the assistance of Yaggy Colby Associates, an architecture firm located in Rochester, Minnesota.
5. In the wake of its self-evaluation, the City took steps to bring its employment policies into compliance with title I of the ADA.
6. The City has focused on physical changes to provide program access. It embarked on a program to install curb ramps and accessible parking spaces throughout the City. In the City Hall/Fire Station the City installed an accessible entrance door, an interior ramp, and accessible hardware on interior doors, and it renovated the unisex restroom. It also installed entrance ramps to the Fire Station, and in Riverside Park it installed accessible paths throughout the park, installed an accessible route to the restrooms, and renovated the restrooms in the Park.
The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Mantorville, Minnesota. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:
7. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.
8. The Parties agree that the technical requirements and, where appropriate, the scoping requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards") are used as a guide for determining whether a program or activity held in an existing facility is "readily accessible to and usable by" persons with disabilities, and for determining what changes are necessary to make this program or activity accessible if it continues to be provided in the existing facility in question. See 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.150(b)(1), 35.151. The Standards appear at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.
A. CITY SERVICES
9. The City agrees that within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will designate an employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under title II of the ADA. The name, office address and telephone number of the ADA coordinator will be made available to all interested persons.
10. The City agrees that within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will establish a grievance procedure for resolving complaints of violations of title II of the ADA.
B. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
11. The City agrees that within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement the City, upon request, will make interpreter services available to individuals who are hearing or speech impaired, for City services, programs, or activities to assure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. The City will also make City Council meeting minutes available in alternate formats upon request.
C. PHYSICAL ALTERATIONS
In order to ensure that the following spaces in City facilities, for which alterations commenced after January 26, 1992, are readily accessible to and usable be individuals with disabilities, the City will take the following actions.
12. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete the following modifications to the City Hall/Fire Station:
(1) The ramp from the City Hall to the Fire Station and the ramp at the Fire Station side entrance are not compliant in slope and design. Provide a ramp at each location that has a slope no steeper than 1:8 and that has flared sides to provide edge protection that prevents people from slipping off the ramp. §§ 4.1.6(3)(a)(ii), 4.8.7.
b. City Hall Unisex Toilet Room.
(1) The toilet room does not have the required signage. Install signage using raised and Brailled characters on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the finish floor and mounted so that a person may approach to within 3 inches of the signage without encountering protruding objects. §§ 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.
(2) The toilet room door has a twist lock device. Install an accessible lock device that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever-operated mechanisms, push-type mechanisms, and U-shaped handles are accessible designs. §§ 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.1, 4.13.9.
(3) The toilet room door will be adjusted so that the force required to open the door will be no more than five (5) pounds. §§ 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.1, 4.13.11.
(4) The mirror is mounted so that the bottom of the reflecting surface is 45 1/2 inches above the finish floor. Reposition or install a mirror with the bottom of its reflecting surface not higher than 40 inches above the finish floor. §§ 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(11), 4.22.6, 4.19.6.
(5) The side grab bar does not extend at least 54 inches from the rear wall. Reposition or replace the grab bar so that its end nearest the rear wall begins no more than 12 inches from the wall, is at least 42 inches long, and that its end farthest from the rear wall is located at least 54 inches from the rear wall. §§ 4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(11), 4.22.4, 4.16.4, Fig. 29(b).
(6) The paper towel dispenser is mounted so that it is a protruding object. Reposition the dispenser so that it does not project more than 4 inches into the circulation path in the toilet room and the operating portion is no higher than 54 inches above the finish floor for a side approach, and no more than 48 inches above the finish floor for a front reach. §§ 4.4.1, 4.22.7, 4.27.3.
13. Within 12 months of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete the following alterations to Riverside Park:
a. Riverside Park Men's and Women's Toilet Rooms.
(1) The toilet rooms do not have the required signage. Install signage using raised and Brailled characters on the wall adjacent to the latch side of each toilet room door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the finish floor and mounted so that a person may approach to within 3 inches of the signage without encountering protruding objects. §§ 4.16(1)(b), 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.
(2) The entry door opens into clear floor space at the lavatory and hand dryer in each toilet room. Reposition or rehang the door so that it does not swing into the clear floor space at the lavatory or hand dryer, or provide a device to maintain the door in an open position at all times that the toilet room is unlocked and available for public use. § 4.22.2.
(3) There is insufficient maneuvering clearance at the pull-side of the entrance door, on the inside of the toilet room. Provide adequate pull-side maneuvering clearance for the entry door. § 4.13.6, Fig. 25(b).
(4) The toilet paper dispenser in each toilet room is located on the back wall. Reposition the dispenser so that it is located on the side wall closest to the toilet, so that its farthest edge is located no more than 36 inches from the back wall. §§4.1.6(1)(b), 4.1.3(11), 4.17.3, 4.22, 4.16.6, Fig. 30(d).
(5) The side grab bar in each toilet room is not compliant in size or shape. Install a side grab bar so that the end nearest the back wall begins no more than 12 inches from the wall, the grab bar is at least 42 inches long, and the end farthest from the rear wall is located at least 54 inches from the rear wall. § 4.16.4, Fig. 29(b).
(6) The door to the toilet stall has hardware for the lock that requires tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate. Replace the existing hardware with hardware that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. § 4.13.9.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
15. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at 90 and 180 days after the effective date of this Agreement, and thereafter at yearly anniversaries of the effective date, the City will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the City has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include photographs, architectural plans, notices published in the newspapers, copies of adopted policies, and proof of efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations.
16. 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 Department 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 Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
17. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the City in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement.
18. Failure by the Department 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 Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
19. In the event that the City fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, the Department may file suit in an appropriate federal court to enforce the terms of the Agreement, may declare the Agreement null and void and file suit to enforce title II of the ADA, or may commence proceedings to suspend or terminate its financial assistance to the City.
20. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the City or the Department on request.
21. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
22. This Agreement 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.
23. This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until the parties agree that full compliance with this Agreement by the City has been achieved.
24. The person signing for the City of Mantorville, Minnesota represents that he or she is authorized to bind the City to this Agreement.
For the United States:
BILL LANN LEE,
Acting Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
RENEE M. WOHLENHAUS, Deputy Chief
SUSAN B. REILLY, Supervisory Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738
For the City:
MAYOR Diane Carlson
City of Mantorville
21 Fifth Street East
Mantorville, Minnesota 55955
February 7, 2001