DIGHTON — Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein is pleased to announce that the Town of Dighton was recently awarded a $30,000 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Planning Grant from the Massachusetts Office on Disability.
Dighton will use the money to conduct a self evaluation of certain town-owned properties and develop a transition plan for future improvements.
“We are thrilled to have been selected for this highly competitive grant,” Aronstein said. “Achieving ADA compliance has been placed on the selectmen’s five-year plan, which is a set of items we’ve selected to prioritize. The town has been looking at renovating our facilities for a while, and this money will be a perfect launching point to kick-start these important efforts.”
The town will issue a Request For Proposals for qualified vendors within the next month to conduct the evaluation and put together a transition plan.
The town’s newly-hired ADA Coordinator, Jonathan Gale, will be involved in the process by managing the grant requirements.
The Town of Dighton owns and operates close to a dozen buildings that are in need of various changes to achieve ADA compliance. In addition to those buildings are several playgrounds, parks and a basketball court, all of which are heavily utilized by the public.
One of the top priorities is improving Dighton Town Hall, which currently lacks an elevator to the second floor, has a steep ramp leading to the front door and door knobs that are not ADA compliant.
Public safety buildings will be part of the plan as well, such as doing in-depth evaluations of the needs of the nearly-60-year-old primary fire station and nearly 120-year-old Chase Street fire station.
The Dighton Public Library on Main Street, the Segregansett School building on Somerset Avenue, the Highway Garage on County Street, Prime Time Adult Day Care on Somerset Avenue and the Karl K. Spratt Memorial Field located behind Town Hall have also been identified as locations needing evaluation as part of the grant funding.
“Many of our buildings were built in different times and under different codes,” Aronstein said. “That is why this grant is so important. It will help us modernize several buildings and facilities in town so that members of the community always enjoy a safe and accessible experience whenever they visit town-owned properties.”
In addition to the planning grant, the town also received $3,850 to construct an ADA-compliant walkway to the greenhouse/outdoor classroom at Dighton Elementary School.