This Is our Village

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I do not have an understanding of  exactly how the proposed elevator at Hastings would be paid for and who would have the responsibility for its maintenance (WPRF or UCO or some  percentage combination of the two). An understanding of this and the tax liability question would be needed, of course, in deciding whether to have an elevator installed.

I can only cite my own experiences: A couple of years ago, I went twice with a friend to play pool in the billiard room at the far end of Hastings on the second floor. It was later in the evening and not too many people were about. I had just had knee replacement surgery and was using a cane, so we decided to use the lift. We made it to the second floor, but the ride was a shaky, “uncertain” one, which reminded me of the lift at our two-story condo––dependable 95% of the time but subject at times to getting stuck between floors, which I guarantee you is NOT a pleasant experience. More than once with a passenger stuck halfway down, we had to coax the lift down using the controlled gravity-fall feature from outside the lift. On one of these occasions the person inside––not an elderly, infirm person in this instance––reached a point of near-panic.

An even more dangerous thing happened one time with our condo lift (which, by the way, works better now, thanks to some innovative work by Action Accessibility, our lift maintenance company). It was after dark, and I was on the second-floor catwalk walking by the lift. I routinely checked the door to the lift to see if it opened all right. It opened all right, but the car was down at the first-floor level! Anyone opening the door intending to use the lift could have plunged down the shaft; and a 90-year-old woman lived in an apartment directly across from the lift! What a close call! We got that situation under control and the lift fixed (what was wrong is a long story), but my point is that I think our lifts are not as safe as an elevator.

Lifts are what the Village now has at Hastings, and they are down at the far end, where there are not usually many people around to respond to a call for help. Rather than risk getting stuck, we took the stairs down from the billiard room when my friend and I were through playing pool. If it’s not a terribly bad financial deal for the Village, I would be in favor of having a full-fledged elevator replace the present lifts. Eva Rachesky recommends it, I believe. I think she is right: With a dependable elevator more of our residents would use the second-floor facilities at Hastings.


  1. I have heard nothing but horror stories about these lfts, which are attached to many buildings at CV.

    My building does not have them, and their installation happened before I got here.

    I would be interested in knowing the history behind these lifts- when were they installed? Did their appearance coincide with the passage of ADA in 1996? We're they individually contracted for by each building, or did UCO or WPRF select a contractor? Was there any government incentive to install these things?

    Now that these lifts are getting old, what happens about replacement or repair?

  2. Hi Lanny,

    I'm not sure how taxes get involved in this issue. But the cost issue is straight forward.

    Hastings Clubhouse is Benenson Capital property, managed by WPRF. Thus this project falls under the authority of the Operations Committee, as clearly provided for in the millennium amendment to the long-term-lease.

    The new elevator was voted on and approved in the WPRF 2014 budget, and has been approved twice.

    It was out-of-order to bring this to the Delegate Assembly.

    Dave Israel

  3. Thank you, Dave, for the clarification on the elevator at Hastings. In response to your question, Don4060, others would know better than I, but I think there was a time when a number of the associations here got a "deal" on having a lift installed. I think this may have been with a Canadian lift company.

    Our association bought a Concord lift (Canadian made) just before I bought my apartment. I think this was after the time when a number of the associations bought them. We had our troubles with the it, a recurring one having to do with the switches (three of them, one on the first floor, one on the second floor, and the third in the lift car itself). The contacts were always getting corroded, so when you pressed the switch (which, by the way, you must KEEP pressed during the ascent or descent), the car wouldn't respond. The head tech for Action Accessibility, Mike (experienced and always very helpful), told me this was a real problem with the Concord lifts, only worse at the lifts in buildings near salt water. In time he himself redesigned the switches, and lo, our problems were far fewer.

    Still, however, we would have a problem from time to time, and I told our residents: "Think twice about using the lift when no one else is around; you could get stuck. Think twice about using it in very hot weather. And be sure you understand how to use the alarm in the lift and the 911 phone we have installed. Perhaps give it a test run up and down before you get on. I often thought I should say to them, "And be sure you don't need to use the toilet right away," but I never quite got up my nerve to add this!

  4. An elevator vs. lift, the elevator is so much safer, quicker, and uses the buildings a/c to keep everyone cool during the hot days. Not to mention, depending on the one built, keep the sun off it's users.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.