In order to continue receiving federal grant funds, the city of Washington is required to adopt the Title VI program, which prohibits discrimination.

The program was discussed at the Washington City Council administrations/operations committee meeting Monday, March 25.

“East-West Gateway, since the 1960s, has had a ruling in effect that states cities have to adopt Title VI, which prohibits discrimination, if we are going to accept grant funding (at the federal level)” Andrea Lueken, assistant Washington city engineer explained.

Lueken said there are many cities that have not adopted a program and that East-West Gateway is trying to make sure cities move forward with adopting a plan.

According to the city of Washington plan statement, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or ethnicity in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Once adopted, Title VI information will be prominently and publicly displayed in city facilities, as well as available online and will be emailed to employees, according to the plan.

It also highlights complaint procedures, the complaint process, a limited English proficiency plan and community outreach.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 demographic profile data, 1.4 percent of the city of Washington population potentially speaks a language other than English. The actual percentage is unknown and likely less, according to the plan, which was distributed at the meeting.

However, if a language barrier prevents individuals from accessing services and benefits, they may be entitled to language assistance.

The city has had a nondiscrimination policy, but has never formally adopted a Title VI program.

Dan Boyce, city engineer, will serve as the Title VI coordinator.

City council members accepted the Title VI program into the minutes.

The plan will be prepared as a resolution or ordinance and presented to the full council for approval at a later date.