News 5 Investigates

Aug 20, 2014 8:42 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Disabled veteran says City of Colorado Springs refuses to fix broken wheelchair lift they installed

UPDATE: Leroy McKelvey tells News 5 parts are on back order to fix his wheelchair lift but that he has been in contact with both the City and installation company. 

Stay with KOAA.com for new developments as they come in. 

ORIGINAL STORY: 

A disabled marine colonel is trapped inside is hope after his city-installed wheelchair lift broke down.

Colorado Springs provides lifts free of charge to disabled homeowners through a special program with the housing department.

When this equipment fails, who's responsible for repairs?

Leroy McKelvey needs a lift outside his front door to get in and out of his home which sits about six feet above the street.

He says the ramp has been broken for nearly two weeks and when he calls the city and installation company to fix the problem, he says he's just getting the runaround so he turned to KOAA-TV for help.

"I have one entrance and one exit in my home," McKelvey said. "I'm a paraplegic and blind. I've missed several doctors appointments which are very important."

We contacted the City for answers and received this statement:

"The City of Colorado Springs, through the Architectural Barrier Removal Program administered through the Housing Development Division, provides lifts to qualified residents. The City maintains ownership of the lifts and provides for routine maintenance and minor repair. If it is determined that vandalism, neglect or misuse are the cause of damage, the client is responsible for the cost of repairs. The elevator company we use, 101 Mobility, has responded to twenty calls from the client since the lift was installed in June 2013. This is highly unusual. They have run full diagnostics twice and have found no problems. On multiple occasions the lift was unplugged or obstructed by trash and debris. The last visit 101 Mobility made to the client was one week ago. 101 Mobility informed us the lift was working temporarily and parts had been ordered to permanently repair it. City staff offered to remove the lift and provide the client with a ramp, and he declined the offer."

In a later email, the City said it would make a one-time exception and fix the ramp at no-cost to McKelvey. We're told parts will be shipped out on Friday to permanently repair the lift.

If you have a story you'd like News 5 Investigates to look into, call 228-6280.

 

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