City looks to apply for grant to help with ADA compliance

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The city of Hastings is looking to apply for a $425,000 to improve ADA accessibility in the downtown area.

The city of Hastings is looking at applying for a grant to make the downtown area more ADA accessible. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

They're nearing the end of the Hastings Mobility Study, which let them assess ADA mobility throughout the city and find ways to improve it.

"One of the biggest issues is parking and mobility in a general sense," said Don Threewit, director of development services in Hastings. "You can park downtown. Even our ADA parking is sometimes difficult to access, because we're very limited in the van accessible parking."

A consultant is drawing up results from the mobility study to pinpoint what areas need the most improvement.

Threewit said they want to focus on a four by four block centered around 3rd Street and Denver Avenue downtown. The goal is to make places like the library and city hall more accessible.

In addition to the parking lots, the city wants to improve sidewalks. Threewit said they're looking at adding stamped concrete, or tactile paving, to help people who are visually impaired find where the clear path is.

"All of this is coming together into one, concentrated project that we hope is a demonstration of the architectural barrier removal applications that we'll be using throughout the city. This would be step one in the process," Threewit said.

Threewit said the grant is very competitive. It comes from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The city applied for it last year, but didn't get it. He said they've made changes to their application this year to have a better chance of the grant coming to Hastings.

There'll be a public hearing on the application for the grant at the Hastings city council's next meeting. It'll be at 5 p.m. Monday. If the application is approved, the city will submit it. Threewit said it'll take several months from then to hear if they're awarded it.