A new regulation to add wheelchair lifts or ramps to every publicly accessible pool in the nation has pool operators -- including in Charlotte -- scrambling to comply.
Monique Stamps is disabled and dreams of taking a dip in the pool with her kids.
“I would like to be able to enjoy recreational swimming just like any other parent would,” Stamps said.
Beginning May 15, public pools and pools at hotels, colleges and apartments in the U.S. must have a chair lift or a ramp for people with disabilities. The new guidelines are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Mecklenburg County has five public pools, but only a few already have lifts installed. The remaining lifts have been ordered and cost $35,000. The money came from entry fees to the pools.
But many pool owners, including some in the hotel industry, have concerns over cost, liability and timing.
“We do need some flexibility. Not a rigid, fast, do-it-tomorrow kind of an approach to things,” said Sid Smith with the Charlotte Area Hotel Association.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association is asking the Department of Justice for an extension of the deadline.
The regulations are set to take effect next month.