• Could penny tax help improve Jacksonville's ADA image?

    By: Catherine Varnum


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Another fan wanting to attend a Jaguars game says there wasn't any seating for him.
    "I could get two in the handicap seating and my family would sit someone else," said Robert Davis.

    Davis wasn't going to accept that answer from the Jags. The attorney has been in a wheelchair since he broke his neck in 1991.

    “I gave up after five times. They weren't interested. I figured I wouldn't give them my money," said Davis.
    As we first broke down Tuesday, EverBank Field does not meet ADA standards. It's roughly 200 seats short of the goal of 346. Some were even taken out with the recent addition of pools and cabanas.

    Related Story: Mother questions wheelchair seating at EverBank Field

    It's not the only building operated by the city with ADA issues. We told you about the city's settlement with the Department of Justice last year to get the city up to code and it's a costly fix. The city has approved $5.5 million through 2015. Some city leaders say it may even be more then that.
    "I don't think an emphasis was placed on it," said Councilman Bill Gulliford.

    He said they may be able to find some money from the gas tax extension just passed. A penny of the 6 cents per gallon comes back to the city, but it wouldn't be available until 2016.

    "In that penny, 20 percent is going to infrastructure," said Gulliford.

    He said most of the fixes need to be made to sidewalks.
    Action News contacted the Jags about this Wednesday and asked what the plans are for the future since the seats for the stadium may not be up to code for a couple more years. A spokesperson told us in part, "There were some new disabled seating areas added and our ticket office is in the process of accommodating those requests."
    After our story Tuesday night about the teen with cerebral palsy who couldn't get tickets, we learned Wednesday the Jags did call and get him tickets to a game.

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