The­shark cir­cles for town pool

Ruapehu Press - - Front Page - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

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.

PHOTO: FRANCES FER­GU­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Sign of the times.

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