ADA puts city pool in the financial deep end

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By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

An e-mail noting that City Park facilities are not in compliance with ADA standards spurred the Henrietta City Council to approve changes to the city pool Monday night.

The Americans with Disabilities Act 2010 requires public swimming pools to be accessible to disabled persons, and must have ramp or lift to help people in and out of the poll. Bathroom facilities at the pool also are not in compliance. Public facilities are required to be in compliance by mid April. The pool does not open until late May, buying the city some time.

“It is going to be costly, and we know that the pool does not make money,” said Bloodworth. She continued by stating that the facility is the only recreation provided to Henrietta youth during the summer months.

Henrietta most cost effective option will be a portable lift, which can be stored during the off-season. A lift is expected to cost an estimated $4,000. The ADA requires a lift that is operated by the occupant.

If a ramp were installed, it would require a complete refurbishment of the pool.

To meet ADA requirements for the public bathrooms, the city will use the restrooms in the City Park, pouring a 5-feet wide sidewalk approximately 50 feet from the pool to the bathrooms.

The city is expecting to spend an estimated $5,030 on the project from the parks budget.

An attempt to set a 3-4 hour budget workshop for early April resulted in a debate between Robinson and Alderman Howard Raeke.

Robinson said the workshop would give the council control of year’s budget, to which Raeke said the city pays “$150,000 to two people” to do just that.

“That’s what a city manager is for. That’s what a public works director is for,” said Raeke.

When asked for her opinion, Bloodworth said she does not believe the council can best direct the city’s day-to-day spending needs.

“I fell like you have entrusted me to write a budget,” said Bloodworth. “And I know that if you don’t like it, you’ll tear it apart.”

The council agreed, instead deciding to hold regular budget sessions once Bloodworth has formulated the city’s needs. Budget sessions will be held during the summer months.

In other business, the council:

Held a second public hearing concerning business development assistance from the Henrietta Growth Corporation to Lawn Rescue, and approved a memorandum of understanding between HGC and the business.

Approved a request from the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce to close Gilbert, Main and Ikard streets around the courthouse square for Turkey Fest activities April 21.

Announced April 14 as the annual animal vaccination clinic to he held at the city hall garage from 8 a.m.-noon. Dry Fork Veterinary Clinic will provide vaccinations.

Discussed water levels at Lake Arrowhead and at the city reservoir. Lake Arrowhead is at 57.4 percent capacity. Sixty percent is considered normal. The city reservoir is one foot low and two feet are available in the Little Wichita River. The city has not had water released from Lake Arrowhead this year.

The council also discussed rental rates for the Holman Center. Current rates are in line with surrounding communities, said Bloodworth. Robinson appointed a committee of Bloodworth, Economic Development Director Rick Langford, himself and Alderman Mike Roberts to review the rates. He also said that if any other alderman new of a community member who might serve to submit that person’s name.

The city is trying to figure out how to increase use of the facility. Use of the Holman Center requires a $185 for normal use, or $485 for events at which alcohol is served. Local rental rates are $35 per hour or $230 for the day. Non-local rates are $55 per hour or $350 for the day

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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