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6/5/2020 - Grant Money Unavailable To Defray Cost Of Potential Ballantine Pool Project

State and Regional Authorities Unaware of Any Existing Grant Programs to Assist Bringing Pool Up To Full ADA Compliance

The Edgewood Ad Hoc Task Force, working with organizations at the state and regional level, was unable to unearth any grant programs toward the rebuild or renovation of the Ballantine Pool and Pool House. Furthermore, no grant programs were found to help modify an existing or to build any future Pool or Pool House up to ADA compliance standards.

Task Force members had discussions with the ADACC (ADA Coalition of Connecticut) and the New England ADA Center. They also had a wide-ranging conversation with Valerie Fletcher, the Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Centered Design (which is the primary sponsor of the New England ADA Center). The Task Force also reached out to other Connecticut towns that have embarked on pool projects to seek their advice in applying for grants.

Every town, organization, and expert the Task Force spoke with knew of no ADA grant money that might be materially relevant for pool construction in Connecticut. However, Ms. Fletcher was aware of a program currently available to Massachusetts municipalities. That said, Ms. Fletcher suggests that it would be difficult for the State of Connecticut to launch a similar program anytime soon, given the current strains on state budgets.

Tom Connor, Vice-Chair of the Board of Finance and member of the Ad Hoc Task Force who led the grant research effort, summarized:

“In conclusion, despite many hours or research, we found no evidence of any substantive ADA grant programs that might provide financial assistance for a $4,100,000 Ballantine Pool renovation.”

Also, Architect Hugh Sullivan, whose firm, Bennett Sullivan Associates, Inc. has an extensive history of working on ADA compliant projects, validated the findings and made the following statement.

“I could not imagine for a moment that the Town of Southbury would ever qualify for a grant associated with creating ADA compliance for a recreational pool and Pool house that is a seasonal use facility.”

The Task Force began researching grant options at the suggestion of a citizen who submitted public comment. The Task Force invites any citizen who may have specific information about ADA grant funding to submit a comment through the Edgewood Task Force website: southbury-ct.org/Edgewood.

The Town of Southbury has until July 31 to exercise an option to purchase the Edgewood Bath and Tennis Club for $2,000,000. Beginning in 2021, Edgewood would replace the current Town Pool at Ballantine Park, which has reached the end of its lifespan and is estimated to cost $4,100,000 to replace both the pool and adjoining bathhouse to meet ADA compliance standards.

Town officials are planning on a July referendum on the purchase, although a date has not been set yet due to public health conditions.

On April 16, the Ad Hoc Task Force formally recommended the purchase of Edgewood to the Board of Selectmen. The acquisition has since been endorsed by the Board of Finance, the Strategic Plan Commission, the Planning Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

A “Frequently Asked Questions” document regarding the work on ADA grant research and other pertinent documents relating to the Task Force’s work, can be found on the Town website: southbury-ct.org/Edgewood.