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Graffiti. (Image by Kasia from Pixabay)

As the Town prepares to bring forward a comprehensive disability infrastructure plan to Council in February, Council agreed to top its consultant up with an additional $50,000.

The increase, which brings the total amount for Disability Access Consultants to $220,000, was approved unanimously as part of the Dec. 19 consent calendar.

It authorizes the Town Manager to execute a second amendment to the original agreement and allows for an expenditure budget transfer in an amount of $35,150 from the fund for the Curb, Gutter & Sidewalk Maintenance project.

This follows the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal penalties brought by disability rights activists in recent years, which wreaked havoc on the local business community.

Los Gatos says it recently ‘discovered that the grant funding had not been previously received and the funds are no longer available for the project.’

In March 2021, Council authorized a budget to recognize a $35,000 Joint Powers Authority Liability Assurance Network grant in the amount of $35,000.

Staff says the grant fund was spent in a prior year and the Town recently “discovered that the grant funding had not been previously received and the funds are no longer available for the project.”

Staff is now planning to develop a new funding plan for the $35,000, with the expectation it will bring the item to Council as part of the mid-year budget process.

“Staff recommends that Town Council authorize the transfer of available funds,” staff wrote in a report to Council. “With the proposed budget transfer, there are sufficient funds in the project budget to cover the amendment to the consultant services agreement for the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan project.”

The consultant charges up to $110 per hour for services.

Council approved the consent calendar unanimously.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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