Bid to change pool position

The  Mosgiel Taieri Community Board is petitioning the Dunedin City Council to change its position on funding the proposed four-pool aquatic facility in Mosgiel.

However, a board member told the Taieri Times he did not support the submission to the council's long term plan, because the city could not afford another ''debt-funded'' project.

The board's submission to the council's long term plan hearing says the need to invest in Mosgiel-Taieri has never been more pressing as the area is growing.

Written by board member Sarah Nitis, the submission says the pool and a Mosgiel town centre upgrade, both unfunded items in the city's draft long term plan, were the board's top areas of concern.

With 16,260 residents, the Mosgiel-Taieri ward had 13.7% of Dunedin's population.

''While the board understands the council and staff were under pressure to formulate the LTP consultation document, the board would like to express its disappointment in the presentation of this project for all Dunedin city residents to consider.''

The proposal had been portrayed as a ''problem specific to residents of Mosgiel'' when it ought to be considered in its ''true context'' of the aquatic facilities of the wider city.

The submission also took issue with ''misleading information'' in the draft long term plan that suggested an ''undesirable $1.4 million'' would be required from ratepayers for the preferred four-pool option.

The Taieri Community Facilities Trust's ''robust'' feasibility study had calculated differently, based on comparisons with facilities in other centres.

The preferred option comprised a toddler/leisure pool, learner pool, lap pool and hydrotherapy pool.

If the council funded the ''state-of-the-art'' four-pool facility, the community would contribute $7.5 million.

However, board member Maurice Prendergast said he doubted the community could raise $7.5 million.

''They are stumping round saying that they have a guaranteed $7.5 million upfront from the community, and that's just simply not true.''

Mr Prendergast said the financial burden of Forsyth Barr Stadium meant the city could not afford millions of dollars for a new pool in Mosgiel.

Ms Nitis will present the submission to the council at this month's long term plan hearing.

The total estimated cost of the pool complex is $14.44 million.

Nearly half of the 2178 submissions on the council's long term plan mentioned the pool.

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