Montcalm County to add more handicap signs to admin building

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 4:30 pm on Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Additional handicap entrance signs will be added to the Montcalm County Administrative Building in downtown Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

STANTON — Additional handicap entrance signs will be added to the Montcalm County Administrative Building after someone fell on the facility’s front steps.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners recently discussed the incident.

“Allegedly, somebody had an accident on our front steps,” said Commissioner John Johansen, referring to a man who apparently fell while walking into the building to visit the treasurer’s office. The man was not seriously injured, but he shared his concerns with Treasurer JoAnne Vukin.

Vukin, in turn, proposed county officials add more signs to the building alerting people to the handicap entrance at the rear of the facility.

“Our office has seen firsthand how hard it can be on individuals who do not know we have a handicap access and then don’t realize there is an elevator,” Vukin told The Daily News. “By parking at the top of the hill and coming in the front of the building, they come up the steps to the second floor and many times are so out of breath, they have trouble being able to talk to us. We always tell them there is an elevator and they were not aware of it because they had come in the front door and didn’t see it. So it just makes sense that hopefully if there is better signage letting the public know that there is handicap access at the back of the building, they will be able to park back there and use their walkers on the ramp and then be able to get to the elevator and hopefully it will be easier on them.”

During a recent meeting, county officials discussed whether people even read the signs that are already located on the building.

“We have signs out here saying ‘wrong way,’ ‘do not go out’ and we have people going out the wrong way,” noted outgoing Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer. “Is the sign going to help? It might, it might not. There’s a lot of signs and I know people don’t read signs. We have signs by the recycling centers telling people what not to do, the signs are right in front of them, and they dump illegal stuff there anyway.”

“We have signs up here that tell you that the courts aren’t at this building and you still have people coming up the stairs and asking where the court is,” Johansen agreed.

“That happens daily,” added Scott Wright, director of county maintenance and grounds.

The Montcalm County Administrative Building is home to the Building Department, County Clerk, County Treasurer, Drain Commissioner, Equalization Department and Register of Deeds, while the county’s court complex is located on north M-66 in Stanton.

County officials agreed to have Wright add more signage to the building to point people toward the handicap entrance.

“Anything we can do to make access to the building more convenient and safe should be a top priority,” Vukin told The Daily News.

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