PONTIAC — Livingston County has until Jan. 31 to respond to 99 accessibility violations at its new $16 million Law and Justice Center.
Many of the violations include signage for parking or in courtrooms. “That’s a majority of the violations and won’t be a major problem,” said board Chairman Bill Fairfield.
The Illinois Attorney General’s Office, in response to a formal complaint, inspected the building three times in November and determined it was not in compliance with the Environmental Barriers Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The building, which opened in October, houses court-related offices. In December, Michelle Harden of the attorney general’s Disability Rights Bureau offered the county until Jan. 31 to agree to a voluntary compliance plan.
“We will be meeting with the architects, construction manager and our staff to work this out,” said Fairfield.
“We are aware of what needs to be completed and feel we can get that done.”
In addition to the sign problems, there are no accessible parking spaces on the east side of the building near the sallyport entrances.
The report identified a lack of sufficient maneuvering space at the entrance; and the force of opening some doors exceeds the minimum guidelines.
“Because the Livingston County Law and Justice Center was constructed in 2011, we inspected the facility for compliance with the new construction requirements of the Illinois Accessibility Code and Standards,” Harden said.
“We found violations of accessibility that are not in compliance with these laws and standards.”
Harden said the county could be fined as much as $250 each day if the problems are not fixed.
As part of the county’s proposal, Harden said the county should include drawings of any construction or modifications, the names and individuals or companies that will complete the work, the estimated time to complete each project, and an estimated cost of each modification.