Consensus on constructing a handicap ramp at Graydon Pool continues to be murky. The council could be formally accepting a $55,000 Bergen County grant to pay for the $95,000 project as early as Wednesday, though it may be delayed.
On Wednesday, speakers from both the Ridgewood disability community and the Preserve Graydon Coalition (PGC) sounded off to the governing body on their views of the project.
The council – which has looked at the issue for about 1 1/2 years – has tentatively selected "Option 3" as the design option to move forward with. "Option 3" has the ramp coming off the patio near the main lifeguard station and meets its end at about 24 inches of water.
The council is taking a hard look at "Option 1," which would be "less conspicuous," shorter in length, closer to the pool, and require a smaller amount of concrete than "Option 3."
The further study of "Option 1" was not ready Wednesday night but should be complete within several week, Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser told the council.
Critics of the ramp project again took to the podium Wednesday, telling the council they felt it would ruin the aesthetics of the facility, was not cost-effective, would benefit comparably few residents, and added concrete to an area that's already flood-prone.
The village still needs to address the main entrance ramp into the facility before worrying about access within the grounds, resident Pat Hensley said.
Another resident, Laurie Howard, added she felt the options were inadequate for the disability community and were not examined thoroughly. A ramp doesn't need to be constructed to meet federal ADA standards by Jan. 2013, just a plan, she noted.
Proponents of the project said the process has taken years and would be a big step up in terms of ease of access, pointing out that an ADA expert who wrote a 42-page report had favorable comments to the designs submitted.
Another summer without handicap access is morally unacceptable, Mayor Paul Aronsohn and Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli have stated at public meetings.
Pucciarelli remarked Wednesday that they're continuing to develop plans to update all accessibility issues at the facility, not just the ramp.
The deputy mayor will not be attending the upcoming meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10, so it very well could mean a final council vote is weeks away.