The Revere City Council approved a request by Councillors Gerry Visconti, Jessica Giannino, and Richard Serino to install a ramp on the side entrance of the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center, but not before Revere ADA Coordinator Ralph DeCicco offered a differing viewpoint on the matter.
The councillors asked that Mayor Brian Arrigo request the DPW to install the ramp on the side on the building, calling it “a matter of public safety for the seniors utilizing this facility.”
Visconti said upon visiting the Center, he noticed that there was no ramp at the side entrance “just in case of emergency.”
“I thought it would be important for the safety of our seniors to have the ramp installed,” said Visconti. “If that could be done any time soon, that would be great.”
Giannino said she attended a barbecue at the Senior Center and while standing in the Council’s backyard, “we noticed that there was only one handicapped accessible entrance in the building so it may be very difficult for seniors to actually get to the back of the building from the front of the building.”
Giannino said after speaking with Senior Center Director Deb Peczka, she and the other councillors decided to go forward with their request for a new ramp.
“Our Senior Center should be accessible for all seniors and we’re just trying to work to make that a little better,” reasoned Giannino.
DeCicco weighed in on the matter, stating that, “I just wanted to clarify that I had gotten a self-evaluation and transition plan for all the municipal buildings for ADA requirements and I believe the requirement only needs one handicapped accessible ramp at the front of the building [Senior Center] and unfortunately I do not believe that a handicapped ramp can be placed in the back.
“It’s not as simple of getting one and installing the ramp,” continued DeCicco. “There has to be certain radiuses (radii) and certain pitches also with infrastructure – the door work has to be modified and every building just have to have one handicapped accessible entrance.”
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino responded directly to DeCicco’s remarks. “We’re not asking that the ramp be added because of the ADA [requirements] or for that type of reason – we’re asking mainly because post-COVID time the new director of the Senior Center would like to conduct more activities for the seniors outside in their parking lot and having only the front ramp would be very difficult for a lot of the seniors to go totally around the building, especially if they’re just going outside to get food and then go back inside.”
City Council President Anthony Zambuto agreed with the councillors’ request for a new ramp. “This is a matter of convenience and not a matter of code,” said Zambuto. The Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.