Theshark circles for town pool
The Taumarunui Town Pool will be closed for at least another summer and may never reopen.
The pool’s long-term future is up in the air after the Ruapehu District Council voted to close it for another summer and delay $35,000 in repairs until its longterm future is decided.
Damage caused by the 2016 North Canterbury earthquake has already cost $23,000, to identify and attempt to fix the problems.
The council is now considering a water park, instead of a town pool, but says it will consult with the public as part of the Long Term Community Plan.
The rationalisation of the facility will be part of the LTP 2018-2028 discussion. Not operating a pool will result in a $80,000 saving in the 2017/18 budget.
The council is proposing to run a bus service, during the summer school holidays, from the Taumarunui Playground to the Trust Waikato Community Pool at Taumarunui High School.
That pool is a 25-metre, indoor, heated pool.
Councillor Adie Doyle said he supported the idea of closing the town pool and building a wet play area, including subsidised transport from Manunui and Golf Rd.
‘‘I think it’s part of a larger discussion but what I don’t want to see is for us to go and spend thirty grand to try and fix a problem and then in the LTP turn around and decide to close the pool.’’
Doyle said the infrastructure at the pool could still be used for the water park.
Council Community Services group manager, Margaret Hawthorne suggested showing a video of the water play area at Kowhai Park in Whanganui during the consultation.
‘‘I think it’s really important to have that discussion with the community.
‘‘You’ve still got a year-round pool [Trust Waikato Community Pool] that’s warm and it’s a great environment to learn how to swim.
‘‘If you’ve got the play option, the community deserves to have that discussion and I think we should not spend the thirty five thousand but to give time for that discussion.
‘‘That’ll tease out whether they (community) really want to retain the town pool.’’
The council spent $8634 subsidising 4317 visits to the Trust Waikato Community Pool over the 2016/2017 summer season.
Sign of the times.