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UPDATE: Dearborn to Add Disability Access to Neighborhood Pools in 2013

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all new, refinished or government-owned pools be compliant with ADA standards.

Starting the summer of 2013, Dearborn’s neighborhood pools will have an added feature: battery-powered pool lifts that make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“These are required in order to open the pools next summer,” Mayor Jack O’Reilly explained at a recent meeting with City Council.

The purchase and installation of the lifts for the city’s six currently operating neighborhood pools—Summer-Stephens, Lapeer, Crowley, Ford Woods, Dunworth and Ten Eyck—and the pool at Camp Dearborn was approved Tuesday by council.

The cost for the project is $70,914. A breakdown of the costs was provided by the city:

  • $65,065 for the battery-operated lifts, including $2,850 each if a long-reach attachment is needed for any of the pool lifts, which won't be determined until the architect exams the layout of each pool closely.
  • $5,500 for labor and materials for ADA accessible stairs at Dunworth
  • $349 for one extra battery

The ADA requirements were approved in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“People with disabilities were, for too long, excluded from participating in many recreational activities, including swimming,” the act reads. “For the first time, the 2010 Standards set minimum requirements for making swimming pools, wading pools, and spas (pools) accessible.”

Read the full requirements here.

The requirements were placed on any newly built pools, as well as existing pools being altered or upgraded. The ADA also requires that any government-run pools comply with the standards, allowing safe and easy entrance and exit for disabled pool users.

Council also approved on Tuesday $263,100 in renovations to Levagood Park’s Dunworth pool complex, which includes repairs, ADA compliance and the addition of “spray and play” features at the park's "baby pool."

The costs include:

  • $144,600 for the city and cover design, permits, submittals, gutter system update, excavation, concrete, piping updates, labor charges, testing and warranty
  • $12,500 for drain box updates to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act
  • $14,000 for stairs and lift for compliance with ADA standards for the "baby pool"
  • $45,000 for Aguabond (PVC) Membrane for the pool hull
  • $47,000 for spray and play features, to be covered by funds from the Wayne County Parks Millage

Correction: This article originally stated that the $70,914 would cover the cost of six lifts.

Bob December 06, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Before I ask my question, let me just state that personally, I would like to see ALL of Dearborn's neighborhood pools remain open and I would also like to see the two currently closed pools reopened. Having said that, I do remember seeing in the 2012/2013 budget documents that $120,000 was listed for "neighborhood pools removal". My question: Is the city still planning on removing all of the neighborhood pools in 2013 and if so, why are they spending over $70,000 to upgrade them just to demolish them at the end of the year? Does this mean they are really not planning on closing any other pools at all?
City of Dearborn December 06, 2012 at 04:10 AM
To be honest, Bob, I don't know where the city stands right now on the future of the pools. The Special Assessment District idea didn't pan out, and I imagine the discussions on pools - along with other budget issues - will start up after the new year. They have made it clear that they want to invest more money in Ford Woods and Levagood. Clearly the city is not intending to close the pools for at least another year, or they wouldn't have agreed to the purchase of these lifts for all remaining open pools. But I imagine they'll again be looking for alternative funding plans in 2013. Readers: How do you think the pools should be funded?
Rachel L December 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I think this shows that the city is just going to leave the remaining pools alone. Why spend so much on something if you're going to push for closure this year or, really, any time in the foreseeable future.
City of Dearborn December 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
The article has been updated with more details about the cost breakdown, given reader interest in the issue.
Silvio Davis December 06, 2012 at 10:39 PM
The pools were put into the 2013 budget and the $120,000 for removal of pools was removed in a budget hearing over the summer of 2012.

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