Staged build for new Amberley Pool
The Amberley Pool project has found an affordable way forward. The Hurunui District Council (HDC) has included the construction of a new Amberley Pool facility in its draft Long-Term Plan, which goes out for consultation at the end of March.
Hurunui councillor Julia McLean, a log time campaigner for the Amberley Pool, said it was exciting to move forward with the project.
‘‘The issue has been hanging over the community for far too long and now a clear way forward has been found,’’ McLean said.
‘‘No one around the council table was comfortable to sign this off until it was actually affordable, and could be done.’’
The HDC has proposed a twostage build. Stage One will set aside $1.5m in the 2018/19 year to build two new heated outdoor pools – a learn to swim pool and a 25m pool.
McLean said the pool would operate much like school or community pool, with a key purchase or season passes. The plan excludes pool staff to keep operational costs down. The pool’s capital and operational costs will be funded by Amberley Ward rates only. The annual rate for the Amberley Ward of $89 is no change from the current rate.
‘‘That will be a huge relief to so many people who had been concerned with a possible $200 rate increase for a swimming pool they may never use.’’
Stage Two is the construction of walls and roof to create an indoor facility that can operate all year round. Funding for the second stage will be reviewed in the next LTP in three years’ time.
‘‘The staged approach means the community will have a modern swimming pool quickly and the ability to future proof it depending on our community’s growth.’’
Earlier this year the Amberley Ward Committee recommended to the HDC that a new pool be built rather than an attempt to update or modernise the current pool. To build the estimated $4.5m pool facility in one go, with year round operating costs, the annual rates worked out to around $200 per rateable unit in the Amberley Ward until the capital to build the pool was repaid. Then the operating cost of around $120 per year per property would continue infinitum.
The staged option negates the rate impact and means they could start construction next year.
The 90-year-old Amberley Swimming Pool is set to be repalced by a new facility