FROM THE FRONT PAGE
‘‘It was what a lot of people wanted,’’ Lawton said.
The cost of upgrading the pool and building a learner’s pool had the potential to have increased costs down the track, and the decision needed to be what would be best for the community, she said. ‘‘It’s a difficult one. ‘‘Unfortunately it’s not going to be ideal for everyone,’’ she said.
Mayor Vanessa van Uden dismissed suggestions that a decision had already been made on the future of the pool at a council workshop last week. ‘‘That is completely wrong. ‘‘Councillors are not able to make decisions at workshops.
‘‘What we have done is ask for full costings to add a 25m pool and learners’ pool to the Wanaka Sports Facility that will be built at Three Parks.
‘‘That will include capital costs, potential operating models and rating implications,’’ she said.
Council had already agreed to spend $115,000 on temporary strengthening of the existing pool building, to bring it up to the minimum earthquake standard, so it could reopen by the end of September.
The council could also decide to spend about $55,000 more on extra strengthening that would extend the life of the pool for about five years, van Uden said.
Councillor Calum Macleod, of Wanaka, said the pressure was on to keep the existing pool open but potentially the Three Parks option would be more cost-effective.
‘‘The appetite now is that it might be a better option for more (funding) to be set aside for the (new) pool,’’ he said.
Macleod was vocal during his election campaign about keeping the costs of the Wanaka Sports Facility to a minimum.
However, ‘‘doing up the existing pool has become almost void’’, he said.
Deputy Mayor Lyal Cocks said the council was still waiting on the final costings, which would show what the rating implications would be.
The council closed the pool the same week its engineer, Anthony Stanely Major, who designed and observed the construction of Stadium Southland which later collapsed, was expelled from the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand.
Last month Three Parks developer Allan Dippie said while he did not have anything to do with council’s decision whether to build a pool at the proposed sports facility site, the site could prove to be the best place for it.
‘‘Ultimately it could be a blessing in disguise (closing the pool) and the community will get a better pool,’’ Dippie said.
‘‘What the community want to see now is some decisions,’’ he said.