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Butte Commissioners approve ramp for Uptown business after long fight

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 14:26:31-04

BUTTE — It was a long, hard fight for a Butte businesswoman to get permission from the city to build an access ramp to the front of her business, but that fight is finally over and she came out on top.

“It took a tenacious Butte girl who has a can-do attitude of like, I’m not going to give, I’m not going to go away to get it done,” said Jamie Decker, the owner of Top Deck Medical Aesthetics and Wellness.

Decker had been trying to get an ADA access ramp to her business on Granite Street since June of 2023. However, her requests were denied due to right-of-way encroachment on the city-owned sidewalk and liability concerns.

She went to the April 17 Council of Commissioners meeting along with dozens of supporters—many with disabilities. Commissioners ended up granting her the permit after hearing impassioned testimony from more than 20 citizens.

Some commissioners were moved by what they heard.

“Your testimony showed strength and grace and they showed me how easy it is to take so many things for granted,” said Commissioner Hattie Thatcher.

Sporting T-shirts with “The Future is Accessible” written on them, supporters of Decker implored the council to approve her ramp.

“If there was a ramp, I could get into Jamie’s building and get the medical care I need local, which means more money for the city. It’s not that complicated. Put in a damn ramp,” said Lucy Galarus.

Ramp supporter Brenden Dalin said, “It’s been frustrating, I guess, to say the least, because I can’t access places that I would love to access.”

Heather Raymond added, “She works hard day in and day out. Jamie needs a ramp for her business. Thank you.”

Some with disabilities said they feel left out due to a lack of accessibility.

“I’ve heard many of you say that you are invisible, but I want you to know that … I see you,” said Commissioner Bill Anderson.