More than 20 area business leaders, among them hoteliers and rental owners, met about pushing the federal government to make some changes.
As that deadline approached, the U.S. Justice Department, which enforces ADA regulations, granted a 60-day extension.
The lifts are being required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to give the disabled better access to public pools. The new guidelines include requiring a pool under 300 linear feet to provide one means of access that's a sloped entry or a pool lift. For larger pools, there must be two means of access, which can be a pool lift, sloped entry, pool stairs, transfer wall or transfer system. Wading pools must have a sloped entry. Spas and lazy rivers also fall under the regulations. Also under ADA, if you own more than four rental properties with a pool, you must comply.
U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina and U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arizona are fighting the act. Hoteliers on the Grand Strand have been concerned about the costs of the lifts. They say they support the ADA, but hope that something like a portable chair could be in compliance. Right now, it's not.
South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has filed a bill to allow portable chairs to be in compliance. So far, it has only received Republican support.
Fines for non-compliance are up to $50,000. The businesses affected by the new rules should have received a letter from the federal government outlining the changes.