Pool admission rises on cards
A shortfall in visitor numbers has resulted in price increases for both the Tirau and Putaruru pools and some were heftier than others.
All three of the district’s pools are funded with 20 per cent user charges and 80 per cent district rates.
Income for the Tirau and Putaruru pools fell ‘‘ well short’’ last year, South Waikato District Council chief executive Craig Hobbs said.
The Tirau pool had a shortfall of more than $7000 while the Putaruru pool was more than $26,000 down.
Prices for adults, concession swims, public hire, the Putaruru and Tirau swimming club, school charges and swimming carnivals are planned to increase.
President of the Putaruru Swimming Club, Minor Nicholls, said she was sad to hear of the increase.
‘‘At the end of the day any increase will effect us as a club.’’
She was afraid if they were to put up their own fees, it would put people off learning the important skill. ‘‘Any education for our children in the water is important.’’
It may hit the club hard but it would not deter them from keeping it running.
The increases come after ‘‘ misleading’’ information was leaked to Tirau residents about the pool’s potential closure, Hobbs said.
A public meeting was held to deal with public uproar that resulted.
Hobbs said the future of the Tirau pool was discussed late last year when one of the possibilities proposed was to close the pool altogether.
He said it was never going to happen.
‘‘The public exclusion was ignored and we had 350 angry people in the Tirau Hall...
‘‘It[the closure] was never an option.’’
Hobbs said the new prices were ‘‘ reasonable’’ compared to other pools.
The costs for Tirau Primary School’s use of the pool was also looked at.
It was paying an annual $1000 flat fee and now the school will face an additional $375 per week.
‘‘At the end of the day the school [ was] paying relatively nothing... We want the school to have a pool... we think it’s a good compromise.’’
The flat fee will cover the cost of the chemicals while the school uses it.