The filled-in cuts also create some difficulty for parents with young children in baby carriages, Lyman noted.
Target, which is at the north end of the west side of the mall, does have handicapped access at its main entrance, which is consistent with its corporate policy.
A few new access areas have also been created on the mall’s east side, but advocates are concerned that those sites are located near more-obscure entrances.
Champlain Centre contends that the changes were made to create better access for customers with disabilities.
“Champlain Centre takes ADA requirements and handicap accessibility seriously and has been working with Dominic Marinelli from the United Spinal Association, a nationally recognized leader in ADA requirements and handicapped accessibility,” mall officials said in a statement.
“At the request of Champlain Centre, the United Spinal Association has developed a compliance plan for the mall that resulted in the relocation of non-compliant locations, the result of which will not only exceed state and federal accessibility requirements but provide better access for Champlain Centre’s customers with disabilities.”
The previous location for curb cuts did not comply with ADA regulations, Marinelli stated in the release.
“Champlain Centre is considered a Title III entity under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we are obligated to remove barriers,” he said.
“We have to better communicate our compliance plan with North Country Center for Independence and all people with disabilities who visit Champlain Centre.”
United Spinal Association representatives will meet with the Center for Independence later this month to discuss the changes at the mall.
The U.S. Department of Justice will also have a representative at the meeting, and Town of Plattsburgh Codes Enforcement Officer Steve Imhoff will be on hand, as well.
“If they (the mall) are in compliance, then everything could be perfectly fine,” Imhoff said. “They will need to show that they are in compliance with what today’s standards are.”