Carbondale Opens New Fire Department


By Matthew Searcy

CARBONDALE  --Carbondale firefighters are moving into their new station this week despite a number of the state's building violations. The attorney general's office says the building is not up to code for handicapped accessibility.

"They contend that the building was built with public money, therefore it has to be handicap accessible," said city manager Kevin Baity. 


In May, the state issued a letter citing 30 accessibility violations at the new station. Some of the violations include the slope of the sidewalks, and the fact that one of the three walkways has a curb.


"Fifty percent of those were simple adjustments to the closure of doors," said Baity.   


The city will send a letter to the state next week to discuss what can be done about the remaining violations, most of which relate to the department living quarters.   


"Why should we have to their living quarters be handicap accessible," asked Baity.  


The state says they intend to enforce any and all accessibility codes, but are willing to work with the city to resolve the remaining issues.  


"Our goal is to make sure these buildings are in compliance, but we work with the entity to make sure that happens," said Illinois attorney general spokesperson Maura Possley.


The old station, located on Oakland Street, still has some leftover equipment and should be completely phased out in a couple weeks. 


"It's a little bit different living accommodations for them but the new atmosphere is very nice," said Baity. 

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