Pool pe­ti­tion and meet­ing

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

At its monthly meet­ing on May 15, coun­cil­lors voted 5:4 in favour of a 50m out­door pool, with fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a heated pool.

“Why five of our nine coun­cil­lors voted against the heated pool com­plex still leaves me be­wil­dered,” com­mit­tee spokesper­son Maryann Her­bert said. “I have not heard any of them give a valid rea­son for vot­ing this way.

“I was at the May meet­ing when the vote was taken. I heard the strong ar­gu­ment for ac­cept­ing Op­tion 2A (heated pool) but still they chose to vote for the 50m out­door pool with the pos­si­bil­ity of build­ing an in­door com­plex too. How are they go­ing to jus­tify build­ing two? It will not hap­pen.”

Ms Her­bert sent a let­ter, dated May 28, to all coun­cil­lors of Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil. She praised a lot about Corowa and some work by coun­cil.

“At present we have the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther en­hance our town by re­plac­ing the old out­door, cold wa­ter pool with an in­door/ out­door heated pool com­plex which would re­main open all year,” she said.

Ms Her­bert said by vot­ing against the heated pool, coun­cil­lors are ig­nor­ing the health, well­be­ing and safety of Corowa, tourists to Corowa all year, a draw­card for fu­ture res­i­dents, and the fact that lo­cal res­i­dents drive to other towns to swim and take busi­ness away from Corowa.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke con­firmed that mem­bers of coun­cil and staff will be at­tend­ing the com­mu­nity pool meet­ing to be held next week at the Corowa RSL Club.

“Coun­cil wel­comes the in­vite to the meet­ing as a great op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to dis­cuss the pool de­vel­op­ment pro­ject with our res­i­dents and hear their views on a heated pool op­tion,” Mayor Bourke said.

“At our May monthly meet­ing, coun­cil re­solved to go to ten­der on a 50m out­door pool, but the sec­ond part to that res­o­lu­tion which ap­pears to have been missed by many, also con­tained that coun­cil will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the op­tions for a heated fa­cil­ity, which we are con­tin­u­ing to do so.

“Coun­cil has com­menced a pro­ject im­ple­men­ta­tion plan, in­clud­ing a de­tailed com­po­nents brief. A fi­nal con­cept de­sign will be pre­pared as part of this to al­low pub­lic ten­ders to be called and con­sid­ered by coun­cil to ul­ti­mately al­low for con­struc­tion of the new fa­cil­ity.”

Mayor Bourke said coun­cil has been work­ing to­wards the re­place­ment of the Corowa Swim­ming Pool for over 20 years, and all op­tions con­sid­ered pro­vide a fi­nan­cial chal­lenge for the Coun­cil, both on a cap­i­tal and on­go­ing cost ba­sis.

“Coun­cil will con­tinue to work as hard as it can to de­liver a fa­cil­ity that is con­sid­ered to be able to best meet the needs of many users, and also be some­thing that is achiev­able both from a cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture point of view, but im­por­tantly, from an on-go­ing op­er­a­tional cost per­spec­tive,” he said.

“We wel­come the op­por­tu­nity for fur­ther dis­cus­sion on this val­ued com­mu­nity pro­ject as we con­tinue to work to­wards achiev­ing a pos­i­tive and sus­tain­able out­come. I urge all res­i­dents to un­der­stand that it is not a de­bate about a 50m pool or a 25m heated pool, the coun­cil can­not, on cur­rent es­ti­mated year round heat­ing and labour costs, af­ford to go straight to a heated year round fa­cil­ity at the first stage, of any size.

“If the ten­ders for a 50m out­door pool, splash pad and learn to swim pro­gram pool are ac­cept­able, coun­cil is very in­ter­ested to as part of or af­ter this process, con­tinue to find a heated pool op­tion as part of this ul­ti­mate de­vel­op­ment.”

The pub­lic meet­ing will start at 7.30pm, Wednes­day, June 13 in the Lone Pine Room at Corowa RSL Club.

A com­mit­tee of con­cerned Corowa res­i­dents is to con­duct a pub­lic meet­ing next Wednes­day in an ef­fort to get Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil to change its mind about putting on hold a 25m heated in­door swim­ming pool.

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