Wheelchair lift OK’d for parish courthouse

Published 12:51 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018


VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Police Jury is one step closer to installing a wheelchair lift in the courthouse after a vote Monday night.

Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson said the addition of a wheelchair lift will be an improvement to both accessibility and safety in the courthouse.

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The only current path for wheelchair-bound or differently abled persons is through an elevator in the back entrance near the parish jail.

If the wheelchair lift were installed, Wilkinson said, traffic could funnel exclusively through the front entrance and a metal detector could be installed to monitor all incoming visitors.

The elevator in the rear of the courthouse also ferries inmates, lawyers and court officials to and from the courtroom.

With the addition of a wheelchair lift at the main entrance, Wilkinson said these would become the primary users.

The original plan was to install a second elevator in the building, but after two bidding processes returned over-budget proposals, Wilkinson said the jury decided a wheelchair lift was more feasible.

Wilkinson said he did not yet have a cost estimate for the lift project.

The jury Monday authorized the use of $200 to place bids on Lettermans BidConnect, an electronic bidding service based out of Baton Rouge.

The bidding service sends a notification to contractors who can submit proposals for the project and advertises the project online.

Wilkinson said he believed using the electronic service would expose the project to a wider audience and potentially draw in lower bidders.

After a three-week minimum of advertising the project, the jury will schedule a meeting to open any proposals for consideration.

Wilkinson said that phase of the project could happen as early as next month.

“We’re ready to get this project going,” Wilkinson said.