5 Unanswered Questions about DNWM’s “Accessible” Boardwalk at Pere Marquette

Click any photo to enlarge.

Disability Network West Michigan:

1. How much money has been raised for this project to date?

A simple question deserves a simple answer.

2. How much money has been spent purchasing and installing the 9 new panels?

Receipts, please. We visited Pere Marquette on August 5, 2015 and observed 9 new panels (less than half of the 24 panels that comprise the Boardwalk). How much do these panels cost? The price for these poor quality materials does not seem like it should be out of our reach.

3. When will the Boardwalk be accessible and ADA compliant?

As of August 5, 2015, the Boardwalk is not ADA compliant. Is the plan to replace the old, inaccessible panels, or do you plan to keep building at the end of what’s currently down? Why are able-bodied people being allowed to use a Boardwalk that the disability community cannot access?

4. When will the project be completed?

Seriously – what is the plan here?

5. Why do Muskegon’s “boards” cost $50 while Ludington’s “boards” cost $35?

According to Disability Network West Michigan’s 2014 990, the organization has $177,000 (in taxpayer funds) stashed in accounts at an undisclosed, unrelated non-profit. Maybe Disability Network West Michigan could kick in a small donation to ensure that the accessible Boardwalk they sold donors is ADA compliant?

The fact that this organization will not answer basic questions about this project shows exactly how much respect they have for the disability community. Disability Network West Michigan is a Center for Independent Living. CILs are required by law to be staffed and directed by a majority of people with significant disabilities. Make no mistake – real people with disabilities would never have done charity in order to excuse the City from its obligations under the ADA, only to wind up with a Boardwalk that is not accessible to the very community it was intended to serve.

When we do not have a Center for Independent Living that is accountable for the nearly $750,000 it receives in taxpayer dollars annually, our community suffers. Please join us in asking the DNWM Board of Directors to bring our CIL into compliance with state and federal law.

The following people have the power to bring our CIL into compliance with the law:

  • Tamera Collier (Executive Director)
  • John Wahlberg (Board Member)
  • Frank Hollister (Board Member)
  • Renica Minott (Board Member)
  • Jan Thom (Board Member)
  • Mike Hamm (Board Member)
  • Tracy Knight (Board Member)
  • Sandy Baker (Board Member)
  • Joe Doyle (Board Member)

One thought on “5 Unanswered Questions about DNWM’s “Accessible” Boardwalk at Pere Marquette

  1. I think this Board list is out of date but the Disability Network West Michigan website hasn’t been updated in 8 months. Why? The internet is my link to community and they aren’t providing any information about support groups or even their recent ADA event. Core service: Information in a format accessible to me = web site.


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