City Pools Struggle To Comply With New ADA Rules

Cities across the U.S. are trying to get their public pools up to ADA standards by a deadline later this month.

The Americans With Disabilities Act regulations require public pools over 300 feet long to either have an accessible ramp or a pool lift. Terre Haute Director of Parks and Recreation Bruce Rosselli says his department has been facing budget cuts and it can’t afford to make the changes by the May 21st deadline.

“Everything we want to do is available to aid and help everyone who is coming out to the parks and enjoying the parks, but when this comes into it and into daily operations, it affects opening the pool and then you can’t serve anyone,” he says.

Bloomington Aquatics and Fitness Coordinator Robert Gilchrist says his department has another issue.

“Currently, the lifts that we have purchased are on back order,” Gilchrist says. “The demand of the law is excessive of what the manufacturers can keep up with.”

Peter Berg is the project coordinator for technical assistance for the ADA’s Great Lakes Region. He says departments should be taking steps to implement the standards, even if they aren’t quite there yet.

“If they can do it and it doesn’t impose an undue burden upon the county or the park district or the city or the village then they should be doing that,” he says.

But, Berg says, the ADA will not punish cities for the backlog in lifts. He says the Department of Justice is also looking into the requirements and could decide sometime next week to extend the deadline another 6 months.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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