I think our federal government has truly lost its mind.
A new final rule from the Justice Department gives operators of existing pools and spas more time, until Jan. 31, 2013, to meet sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. Those two sections say pools with 300 linear feet of pool wall or more must have two accessible means of entry (a pool lift or sloped entry) and smaller pools must have at least one, as well as what is required for these –- location, size of the seat, lifting capacity, etc.
This requirement has been controversial, as shown by the volume of 1,915 comments submitted to DOJ, and the agency previously proposed delaying the compliance date from March 15, 2012, to Sept. 17, 2012. January 2013 was chosen because some comments showed a significant misunderstanding of the requirements among pool owners and operators, according to the May 21 final rule.
Many owners and operators believed portable lifts would comply, but that’s not correct because ADA applies only to fixed and built-in elements, according to DOJ.
Let’s see: all public pools, hotels, and public/private pools need to install permanent lifts? And this is critical why exactly? Many of these pools just barely stay in business as it is, and this will hardly help matters. These lifts aren’t particularly cheap, after all.
About 310,000 public pools nationwide could require a lift, Hatfield said. She estimated manufacturers can produce between 2,500 and 5,000 lifts per month as of May.
Lifts can cost between $3,500 and $6,500; installation may nearly double that cost.
Well, maybe people could simply ignore the new regs and just pay the fine?
Pools that failed to comply with the regulation would face a fine of at least $100,000.
Ok, I give up. The government must want to put half of the lifeguards, pool boys, swim instructors and even pool maintainance & chemical companies out of business. Hoteliers are going to get hit hard as they struggle in a moribund economy, since there are 85,000 lodging-operated swimming pools in the U.S.. Hotels also have an added concern: if they install a sloped entry rather than a lift, it will require extensive (and very expensive) renovation. If they install a lift (permanent only, remember), they will now have to employ a lifeguard there, since the fixed chair lifts present a safety hazard because of the likelihood that children will play on them:
“Most hotel pools don’t have lifeguards, so anybody can use [a permanent chair lift], climb on it and damage it,” said Kevin Maher, the AH&LA’s senior vice president for governmental affairs. “You’re essentially putting a diving board at the shallow end of the pool, and that’s a huge concern.”
Also, I notice that compliance with this regulation has conveniently been moved to after the election. Of course, that’s probably just a coincidence…….
Obama’s America: making the country great, one idiotic, suffocating, mind-numbing, business-killing mandate at a time.