A dry summer for Louisiana residents
Thu, 05 Apr 2012 23:57:06 GMT —
A local pool is forced to keep its doors closed this summer and residents are worried how the dry season will effect the community.
"There's just nothing else for the kids in Louisiana to do," Pam Todd-Watts, a Louisiana City resident said. "There's no entertainment places, there's no video game places, this is something the children need."
Todd-Watts and her two daughters are at the Louisiana City pool almost every day in the summer ... but this year they'll have find another place to spend time together.
"Obviously we're not equipped to have an ADA entrance here," Louisiana City Administrator Bob Jenne said. "We would have to have automatic doors and modifications to the restroom and in some instances I don't think the interior hallways are wide enough to meet the ADA requirements for a wheel chair."
New federal regulations for the Americans With Disabilities Act went into place last month and upgrades to the Louisiana City pool are projected to be costly. So the city has decided to keep the pool closed, but ADA requirements are just one of many reasons.
"We have not been able to develop a contract with the Louisiana City Council," Marsha Garrison, Twin Pike Family YMCA executive director said. "We will be providing services in the Bowling Green Community at their pool, but we currently don't have a contract with the City of Louisiana to continue managing their pool this year."
Louisiana City and the Twin Pike Family YMCA have had contracts the past eight years splitting the responsibilities of the pool. The city pays for any utility and maintenance fees while the YMCA pays for management to run the facility.
"Basically we agreed that if the city would pick up the expense for providing an ADA chair lift for the pool that that would negate the administrative fee," Jenne said.
"Our board did not feel like we could contribute to capital improvements to facilities that were not owned by our organization," Garrison said.
Despite the disagreement, the residents say they're the ones who will ultimately suffer.
"This is our life," Todd-Watts said. "The pool is our life in the summer, we're there everyday and I don't know what else the kids are going to do without this pool."
The Louisiana city council plans to run a cost survey on the facility to determine the total amount of money it would take to become ADA compliant. If the city can fund the upgrades they will look for an alternate organization to manage the pool.