No permit may force Grand Prairie man to take down wheelchair ramp

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 13 at 7:48 PM

GRAND PRAIRIE -- If Macario Martinez could speak as well as he can play the trumpet, he would probably give you an earful, right now.

But, the Grand Prairie resident suffers from Parkinson's and heart disease and labors over each word.

"I'm tired of asking for help, you know," said Martinez.

Martinez is wheelchair bound and this summer a group of student volunteers built him a new wheelchair ramp so he can leave the house on his own.

"My angels," he calls them.

Last week, Martinez got a letter from the City of Grand Prairie informing him the volunteers did not pull a $20 permit for the ramp and he had ten days to get one or face a $20 fine.

Martinez said he can't afford either and now he's worried the City might even make him take the ramp down.

"I don't make that much, per month. I'm on disability," he said.

News 8 contacted Grand Prairie and late Tuesday afternoon a spokesperson told us they would waive any penalties and work closely with Martinez to make sure he can keep his ramp and that it complies with city codes.

The charity that built the ramp said it will do the same.

Finally, once he is off the ramp and onto the sidewalk Martinez often gets stuck on an uneven curb.

Grand Prairie officials said they will fix that problem, too.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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