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Main Street Inn building bathroom for handicapped

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Main Street Inn building bathroom for handicapped

Joann Corso, owner of the Main Street Inn in downtown Ripon, holds a demand letter from a Lodi attorney that cited restroom violations in her business.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED June 27, 2014 12:14 a.m.

To become compliant with laws of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Ripon’s 70-year-old Main Street Inn and its owner Joan Corso have decided to spend $50,000 to construct a completely new restroom for the access of disabled clientele.

Corso said she had received a letter from Lodi attorney Russell S. Humphrey in January advising her that his law firm was investigating her business regarding alleged ADA violations. 

The letter read: “When our client visited your location, he noted that there were multiple ADA violations with regards to the accessibility of the restrooms in your business. Our client is handicapped and uses a wheelchair and when he visited your location he struggled to use your facility’s restroom. In order for our client and other disabled members of the community to be able to fully enjoy your business, the bathrooms must be altered to comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.”

The attorney’s letter concluded, “Our client’s hope is that your business can bring its property into compliance within a reasonable time period or else they will be left with no other option but to proceed to court and seek all appropriate remedies including costs and attorneys’ fees.”

Corso said she knows of no occasion when a handicapped person was unable to access her 8-by-10-foot restrooms. No one has complained, she recalled. Corso added, a normal-sized wheelchair fits through the restroom doorways. However, the larger battery powered chairs would have an access problem.

The owner of the Inn said she has contracted with a professional contractor to build a separate handicapped restroom to be in addition to the present facilities. It will be located to the rear of the men’s and women’s restrooms, just to the rear of the lounge. She said she had planned to upgrade the business with new carpets and fixtures but with the cost of adding the new ADA restroom that will not be possible as it will require jack hammering the concrete floor, hooking up to the sewer and updating the electrical service to the addition.

She said she has learned that her bar actually dates back to the 1920s when it was a small café attached to a repair garage business that worked on Model A Fords. 

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