Residents say East Cleveland City Hall elevator has been broken for years, and they want it fixed

Residents say East Cleveland City Hall elevator has been broken for years, and they want it fixed

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News is helping residents who hope to get another elevator fixed. This one is different though, it’s in a public building.

People who have trouble using the stairs count on elevators to get them where they need to go.

However, one woman who had business at East Cleveland City Hall barely made it out last week.

Cell phone video shows citizens helping her down the stairs at city hall.

Justyn Anderson took the video about a week ago.

“It broke my heart to see that senior citizen carried down the stairs, and it appeared that she was in pain while doing it,” he said.

Bobbie Jo Bennett says she’s seen the scenario several times before.

“I feel really bad about it, because it hurts," she said.

She says she’s been asking the city to fix it for years.

We saw for ourselves Thursday the broken elevator that is supposed to lead to the courtrooms and the clerk’s office.

“I believe that it should be a priority for us to get the elevator fixed,” Anderson said.

When we went looking for someone who could answer our questions about the broken elevator, we found the city’s Law Director, Willa Hemmons. She then went to get the finance director.

After talking to him, she told us he didn’t want to go on camera, but said it would cost about $80,000 to fix the problem.

While the city figures out how to come up with that money, Hemmons’s office just has to make due.

“If we have someone that’s coming to court for legal issues, then my department will go down and meet them,” she said.

19 News did some digging. According to ADA code, failure to take prompt action to fix an elevator in a public building could be a violation of federal law.

“This is much different than a typical private building,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he called 19 news because he’s trying to get help.

“We need someone who is going to take action and is going to get results. You all are known for getting results,” he said.

We have reached out to the state to see if there are any grants or an emergency fund that could go toward the project.

Hemmons said Thursday that the city did have someone come in a while ago to try to make repairs, but for some reason, they only lasted a couple weeks.

You can count on us to stay on top of this story.

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