While many may take the privacy of a public restroom for granted, others with disabilities do not have many options when needing to be changed when they and those who they are with decide to attend an event or enjoy a public outing.
Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities member and Changing Spaces Tennessee Co-lead Chrissy Hood spoke to the Pulaski Board of Mayor and Aldermen about the importance of powered, height-adjustable changing tables in public restrooms during last week’s meeting.
Hood’s daughter Alaina will have to be changed by someone for the rest of her life, and not only her, but others with this type of need within the community would benefit from having such a changing table.
“Unless you live it, you just don’t think about it,” Hood said, adding that most women will not set their purse on a bathroom floor and asked them to think about having to lay someone you love on it.
Hood recalled the Independence Day Celebration of 2019 when she had to change Alaina in the shower of the Recreation Center and how embarrassing it was to her daughter when opening the curtain and girls her age looking at her.
She said that with the height of stall doors in public restrooms, that those being changed are often exposed during the process as well.
“She’s 18, and she is going to be 25, and she is going to be 35 and 45,” Hood said. “Where are we supposed to change her?”
Hood requested that Pulaski step up and be one of the first to install one of these somewhere in the community or “put it on the radar,” she said.
“I feel like it is something we ought to do,” City Administrator Terry Harrison said. “Let me work on it, and I’ll come back to you, and see if we can come up with a solution.”
Without having a spec building, the Economic Development Commission was only able to submit on one project out of seven that were available in recent months.
EDC Director David Hamilton said he had not yet received anything back from that one submission.
He informed the city council, however, that, dependent upon the planning commission’s approval, the land for a proposed spec building will be closed on Aug. 26., and grants may be available through the TVA for a 50/50 split of the spec building cost.
A project in Elkton’s Industrial Park is moving along, he said.
Patriot Rails is also looking to build a transload facility in the county so businesses can receive raw materials and ship by way of rail, Hamilton added.
“It looks like it is going to be a benefit to several industries,” he said. “They are all very excited about it.”
Hamilton said after a meeting with industry managers, the industries have requested a meeting with the mayors and director of schools to discuss how they can be involved in the education system to help develop the workforce.
Giles County unemployment rates are up to 6.3 percent in June from the previous month at 4.7 percent.
“I can’t explain it,” Hamilton said, adding that other counties’ rates have risen as well.
Marshall is 5.4 percent, Maury is 5.1, Lincoln is 5.3, Lawrence is 5.6, the state average is at 5.6 and national is at 6.1 percent.
The Giles County Public Library received an average of 81 visitors per day in July, Director Cindy Nesbitt said, adding that 3,359 physical items and 2,324 electronic items were checked out and 47 new library cards were issued.
From June 7 to July 16, the library provided 41 programs and had 915 people attend them, she said.
You can now use your library card to access Consumer Reports database to “get reviews on products, news, everything that Consumer Reports has to offer,” Nesbitt said, adding that it was “a great resource.”
“If you don’t have a library card, come get one and you will have access to that,” she insisted.
The library is celebrating its 80th Anniversary and will be having an event Saturday, Oct. 16, from 1-4 p.m.
In other business during its work session Aug. 16, the city council:
• Heard from Executive Director of the Turner Center for Rural Vitality and Chief of Mission Integration and Outreach at the University of Tennessee Southern Allen Stanton about how the center would like to be involved in partnerships with organizations and with strategic planning for the city.
• Heard from Mayor Pat Ford that he and Parks and Recreation Director Lane Rose have met about the fireworks celebration and are looking at other options/locations to bring back to the board and are working with the firework company as well.
• Heard parking within downtown would at some point need to be addressed.