Hobart Community Pool will be handicap accessible
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent June 11, 2012 9:06PM
Updated: June 11, 2012 9:45PM
HOBART — Both the baby and adult pools at Hobart Community Pool will be handicapped accessible next year, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Parks Supt. John Mitchell said Monday.
Mitchell told the board the ADA requires the adult pool to have two lift systems and the baby pool to have one lift system by Jan. 1, 2013. However, because the pool is closed at that time, Mitchell said the department has until the pool’s opening day next June to complete the work.
“This will be a huge expense for the pool in the next six months,” Mitchell said, putting the cost for the three lift systems between $12,000 and $15,000.
He said he looked at installing a wheelchair ramp to lower expenses, but it would take too much room from other swimmers.
Mitchell said he never received a complaint from the public over not being handicapped accessible.
Still, board president John Hevel said there might be better participation from the public once the system is in place.
Hevel said the Hobart YMCA received grant money to purchase a lift system for its pool a couple of years ago.
Mitchell said the 50-year-old community pool averaged more than 300 people a day over opening weekend last weekend,
In other matters, the board agreed to accept the only quote received for roofing and decking for the bridge over Lake George Dam, even though it was submitted after the bid deadline.
No bids were submitted for the project by Friday’s deadline, Mitchell said.
Imboden Construction in Hobart quoted $8,950 to remove and dispose of existing wood shake shingles and install architectural shingles similar to those on the Festival Park Community Center and $16,800 to remove the old decking on the bridge and replace it with a new deck.
Mitchell said the city received a $23,000 grant for the project.
He said the remainder of the cost would come from park funds, if the bid is approved at the board’s July 9 meeting.
Imboden said the bridge would be closed four days for each project, but Mitchell said he wanted the jobs done simultaneously. He said the work should be done in time for the Lakefront Festival in August.
“My biggest concern is closing the area during construction for safety reasons,” Mitchell said.
Resident Sandy O’Brien, a member of Friends of Robinson Lake and an environmentalist, urged board members to provide input on the 1,000-acre Hobart Marsh plan.
She said there are two areas of particular concern to her: some right-of-ways have invasive plants, which she said could overtake the extensive wildlife area, and the plan currently calls for subdivisions to be located next to the marsh.
“That’s not a good idea. Nothing there is really suitable for subdivisions,” she said.
She said a better choice would be businesses that cater to ecotourism.
Board member Sergio Mendoza said her concerns were valid and suggested she bring them to the plan commission, which would vote on any rezoning that would take place.
The marsh is located just south of the Little Calumet River near Interstate 65.