WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Westbrook — The city recently learned the Justice Department is delaying a new law that requires all public pools to install lifts or make pools accessible to disabled persons.
The law passed in 2010 was scheduled to take effect last week. However due to confusion about the sort of pools required to make the change, in regards to the type of lifts, the Justice Department delayed implementation of the law.
The city is currently looking at options to meet the requirements of the law. Portable and permanent lifts can cost from $3,000 up to $10,000 and must be ADA approved.
Language in the law is very confusing according to many pool operators. The confusion comes from the language “readily achievable.” An existing pool must do what is readily achievable (affordable and easy).
Pool operators indicate the language gives a fair amount of latitude in the matter. But it also sends a message of uncertainty in law.
The city will continue to pursue a working solution for the problem, but now will have more time to do so.
After extending the deadline by 60 days, the Justice Department indicated the possibility of extending the implementation even longer, and will accept public comments to extend it up to six months.
If that occurs the city would not have to install a lift chair until next year, as the season will be over by that time. On the other hand, if the city can find a viable solution, the work could be done yet this year.
In either case the council will want to be certain of the language in the law before doing anything.
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