On July 20, 2010, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with Pearl River County, Mississippi, under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, as well as section 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 of Justice initiated a compliance review of Pearl River County in July, 2008, in response to a complaint alleging that a number of the County's programs and facilities are inaccessible to individuals with mobility impairments. This review was part of Project Civic Access, a Departmental initiative to ensure greater access for persons with disabilities to local government programs, services, activities, and facilities. An on-site survey of the County's buildings, programs, and services was conducted in October, 2008. County staff worked cooperatively with the Department throughout the compliance review process in order to reach an agreement.
Facilities covered by the agreement include: Stone Plaza, Pearl River County Health Department, Nursing Home, Pearl River County Justice Center, Pearl River County Administration Building, E911 Office, and Motor Vehicle and Tax Collections Office.
In addition, the Department reviewed access for persons with disabilities to Pearl River's program, services, and activities operating in the following facilities: Courthouse, Mapping Office, Yellow Building, County Road Department, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi State Extension Office, Pearl River County Court Facilities, and Pearl River County Fairgrounds.
The Department also reviewed the County's polling places, sidewalks, and 9-1-1 emergency services.
Other County facilities are covered by the settlement agreement and will be surveyed and modified for compliance with ADA requirements by the County.
The text of the settlement agreement specifies the modifications Pearl River County will be making to its programs, services, and facilities. Among other things, the County has agreed to:
The settlement agreement will remain in effect for 3 years from July 20, 2010, or until all required actions have been completed, whichever is later.
Pearl River County, located in southern Mississippi, is the fourth largest county in Mississippi. The County saw a significant surge in population following Hurricane Katrina and was recognized by the Census Bureau as the seventh fastest growing county in the United States. Pearl River County was formed in 1890, and the County seat is Poplarville.
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