Making Big Spring More Accessible for Residents

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Some help is on the way for Big Spring residents with disabilities. Wednesday, members of the city council agreed to let an engineering firm study public buildings to find ways to make them more accessible. And both residents and city officials said it's a step in the right direction.

"There's a lot of stuff that's not right here yet," said Kathleen Barg, a long-time Big Spring Resident.

Many residents will tell you buildings like the Municipal Auditorium are nice to look at, but not exactly wheelchair friendly. And there are a lot of places around Big Spring with a similar problem.

"Because you see, I have a wheelchair at home, and I can't use it. And Medicare paid for it, like 5,000 dollars for it, and I just can't use it because of the situation of the streets," said Barg.

But all of that will soon change after a unanimous vote from the City Council to make everything ADA compliant.

"Not just for the people involved in wheelchairs, but for people who have difficulty in walking up steps. So we don't want to just comply with the law, but we want to go that step farther and try to make our facilities accessible to our citizens who have difficulty moving," explained Mayor Russ McEwen.

So the City Council agreed to hire the firm Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper to study all those public buildings, and to help find a way to make them more accessible. And that message sends a sigh of relief for residents who said they just want to make things better.

"And so I'm really excited about their decision to do something about it," Barg said.

"It's just another step along the way of trying to make sure we're doing what's right," Mayor McEwen said.

Members of a local ADA committee will also be talking with the firm during their study. City officials said it'll help to have plenty of local input to make the city's buildings more accessible.