Access Austin is almost a memory

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Access Austin will soon be no more.

Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Access Austin will soon be no more.

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As a result of action taken Monday night by the City Council ordinance committee, an ordinance will be presented to the council on Dec. 18 to repeal the section of the original ordinance pertaining to Access Austin. An additional ordinance will be presented to the council allowing Star City Sanitation to haul waste to a facility other than the transfer station.

Started about 10 years ago with action taken by Jo Davis, Virginia Larson and now-Mayor Bonnie Rietz, Access Austin was created Oct. 15, 1995, to advise the city about handicapped access issues.

The original commission contained nine members, all of whom had a vested interest in making handicapped accessibility a priority. Since the time of its inception, however, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, requiring the changes the commission was seeking to implement.

Currently, department heads handle all accessibility requests and build them into any new developments. Public Works Director John Erichson and Zoning Administrator Craig Hoium have consistently addressed all issues that have surfaced, Rietz said.

After asking commission and City Council members if they had any objections to dissolving the commission and receiving none, Rietz requested that the original ordinance be repealed.

Council member Dick Lang suggested that the commission be moved into the public works sphere, so that it is not completely lost. The motion for the ordinance was passed.

Also during the meeting, Star City was given the go-ahead to haul waste materials to a location 20 miles from Austin because the request is allowed under the current ordinance, City Attorney David Hoversten said.

Though this will result in the loss of revenue obtained from use of the transfer station dumping site, Star City’s Andrew Schweihf said it will ultimately benefit all involved: "If I can be more competitive, it will benefit my customers and the city." Erichson added that the rates on the transfer station also are competitive.