Posted on June 18, 2019
Commissioners discuss concerns about ADA accessibility in front of new postal facility
By Tia Lyons
While discussing an update to a recently-approved Certificate of Appropriateness request for a newly relocated downtown postal facility, members of the El Dorado Historic District Commission pointed to another issue that has been raised in the same area.
In February, the EHDC approved a COA request from the U.S. Postal Service for its new downtown location for post office boxes and a mail-drop at 208 E. Elm, formerly Union Station Café.
The facility will not include retail services.
The COA called for graphic, vinyl letters and numbers on the front door, in accordance with USPS standards, with the USPS logo and list the hours of operation.
During a regular meeting June 13, commissioners approved a revised design with a different logo with larger decals.
“The sign we approved originally was a lot smaller, but the scale of this is a lot larger and it's visible to pedestrian traffic and vehicles passing by,” said Elizabeth Eggleston, executive director of the historic district commission.
Commissioners reviewed two proofs for a new design and Eggleston said the proofs captured the early 1950s era in which the building, historically known as the Murphy/Union building, was constructed.
Eggleston said USPS officials sent two proofs of the new design to Toddy Pitard, of Murphy-Pitard Jewelers and owner of the adjacent USPS space, and Pitard forwarded the proofs to commissioners.
After some discussion, the commission approved a proof that featured cursive fonts in favor of a proof where the words were written in block letters.
Following the vote, Eggleston said she has heard concerns about the lack of handrails along a sidewalk ramp that runs in front of the USPS facility.
Commissioners said the rails would adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the issue should be brought to the El Dorado Department of Public Works.
Eggleston said she has heard complaints from people who mistakenly think the USPS is responsible for the matter.
Commissioner Larry Combs said such concerns have been raised and addressed since the city launched a downtown sidewalk improvement project in 2013. The project has been done in phases, moving to different areas as funding allows.
The sidewalk project began as a public safety concern after Mayor Frank Hash noted at least two reports of people tripping and falling over buckled sidewalks downtown.
Commissioners agreed to take the concerns about the Elm Street issue to Robert Edmonds, director of public works.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.