Plan to keep getting federal transportation dollars OK’d

Columbus has approved a plan required by the federal government to comply with a portion of the Civil Rights Act to allow the city to continue receiving federal transportation dollars.

Columbus Board of Works members approved a resolution Tuesday for the city’s Title VI implementation plan, which will take effect in 2018.

The plan is required by the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for all entities awarded federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, said Laura Thayer, director of the Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and transportation planner.

Among the projects that have used federal transportation dollars include a $6.3 million project on Rocky Ford Road that was recently completed.

The plan will be updated annually with demographics and other information that may be needed, Thayer said. The city will also collect data on any complaints that are received and investigated, limited English proficiency activities and evidence of discrimination tied to programs, according to the document.

Thayer said the city already makes an effort to help individuals who may have limited English speaking skills. For example, Aida Ramirez, director of the city’s Human Rights Commission, is available to help individuals who speak Spanish, Thayer said.

The adoption of the document indicates it will help the city assure non-discrimination based on race, color and national origin in city programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com