Passed by the council in a 3-2 vote last December, the original design for a sloped concrete entry to the pool was held up from completion for the 2013 summer season by review of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection Historic Preservation Office.
Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn said the state agency sent letters to the village last Friday giving the “green light” on the project.
According to Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser, the redesign represents minor changes to the project. The length of the ramp was extended slightly to bring the height down and the entry was submerged underwater in response to DEP concerns that the original design could obstruct floodwaters, he said.
Critics of the ramp have said that the project would be "unsightly," pose potential flood hazards and serve relatively few patrons of the pool.
In its letters to the village, the state said that the project would
not interfere with the floodway or damage the historic character of the pool, which was built in the 1920s.
A small section of the stone wall around the perimeter of the pool will be removed to allow for the ramp, but the historic preservation office will continue to consult on aesthetics to ensure the addition remains consistent with the appearance of the pool, deputy preservation officer Daniel Saunders wrote in a letter to the village.
“Compared to the scale of the change needed to make historic properties accessible, this is a relatively unobtrusive project,” Saunders wrote.
Aronsohn said his hope is that the
council will vote Wednesday to award the project to the lowest bid received
last winter, and move forward with construction in time to complete the
accessibility project, required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, by
the beginning of Graydon's 2014 season.
“My hope and expectation is that all Ridgewood residents, regardless of any mobility challenges, will finally have access to Graydon next year,” he said.