BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
Ever since Signal Hill City Hall was completed in 1934, people in wheelchairs or with other physical limitations that prevent them from climbing stairs have not been able to get to the building’s second floor. That situation will change in the not-too-distant future when construction crews install an elevator in the venerable building.
Last Tuesday, the Signal Hill City Council took the first step toward making it happen by approving an application for a loan to fund the project, which is estimated to cost $450,000. If the loan is approved, the funds would come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development trough the Los Angeles Urban County Community Development Block Grant Program. The city would then pay the loan back over seven years with interest adding another $107,000 to the cost of the project.
“The top floor of City Hall houses the Community Services Department, which provides services to people with physical limitations,” said Kathy Sorensen, director of that department. She noted that for many years her staff has met with physically challenged residents on the first floor. “Although this accommodation meets the letter of the law, staff believes it is time to install an elevator,” she said.
In other actions, the council approved a negative declaration and zoning ordinance amendment to allow for the expansion of the Signal Hill Auto Center, approved the Signal Hill Redevelopment Agency’s five-year implementation plan, adopted a resolution to join the county program to reduce plastic carryout litter and rescheduled the city budget workshop meeting to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 9.
The next meeting of the Signal Hill City Council begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13 in the City Hall Council Chambers.