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"I can't tell you how many times I've been to a pool and they have a lift but nobody knows how to use it it's in the corner and probably broken," said Kolbe, a 26 year old student at Stanford Law School in California.
of Pool and Spa Professionals says its research shows that between 235,000 and 310,000 pools require the upgrade. Manufacturers estimate the lifts run $3,500 to $6,500, and installation can double those costs. Altogether, owners could face combined costs exceeding $1 billion.
of orders created by the rush to meet a May deadline. Harry Spirides ordered lifts last month for the hotel he owns on Georgia's largest public beach and was told they should arrive in late April. He expects to pay $12,000 for the lifts at the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island.
Some hotels fear the cost of the equipment or fines for noncompliance could put them out of business, and an industry lobbyist says others may close their pools this summer if they can't upgrade in time, though the government can offer more time to those having Nike Roshe Run Mens Navy White trouble paying for it. Swimmers with disabilities say the changes are overdue.
Kolbe says when she visits pools, she usually takes a friend to avoid asking for help from lifeguards, who often seem uncomfortable lifting her.
Still, whatever hurdles pool operators face will ensure fewer obstacles for thousands of disabled swimmers.
Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010 say pools must be upgraded with chair lifts, essentially mini cranes that move wheelchair users into the water. The initial deadline was March 16, but confusion over the details and pool owners' insistence for more time caused the Justice Department to give them until May 21.
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The law doesn't affect private clubs or pools owned by neighborhood associations that aren't open to the public.
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Once the requirements take effect, the Justice Department will investigate complaints and can fine businesses up to $55,000 for the first offense and double that for further violations. Pools operated by local governments don't face monetary penalties but are subject to federal oversight.
It's a massive and expensive undertaking. The Association Nike Roshe Run Ombre
without it," said Karyn Kitchen of Savannah, who has multiple sclerosis and relies on a poolside chair lift at the Chatham County Aquatic Center for her physical therapy workouts up to four times a week.
SAVANNAH Owners and managers of swimming pools at hotels, city recreation centers and public parks are scrambling to install mechanical chair lifts to comply with new federal requirements that all public pools be accessible to disabled swimmers.
"Our supplier is backed up with orders," said Spirides. "Everybody's rushing to comply; everybody wants to comply. But when you have tens of thousands of swimming pools that have to be retrofitted with these lifts, it takes time."
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