Physio pool future uncertain

John Chambers
John Chambers
The future of Dunedin’s physiotherapy pool is still unclear, the Southern District Health Board was told at its monthly meeting in Invercargill yesterday.

In response to a query from board member John Chambers, board chief executive Chris Fleming said it had yet to be determined what would happen to the land the pool is on once the hospital closed.

He pointed out the pool, administered and maintained by the Otago Therapeutic Pool Trust, would not have the energy source from the hospital to heat pool water once the hospital closed.

An option which could be explored was whether the board could sell the pool to the trust.

He said the trust had sought a 25-year lease for the land but it would have been negligent of the board to enter that in the circumstances.

If the trust did want a longer term it would need to explore heating options.

‘‘Do they plug into the District Energy Scheme or some other way of heating the environment?’’

The proposed scheme is an eco-friendly energy system for the central city designed to provide cost-effective energy for major users.

Pool trust chairman Neville Martin said the trust was negotiating a lease for a much shorter time than the 30 years it originally sought, probably until 2028.

Asked if the trust would be interested in buying the pool, he said if it could buy it for a ‘‘peppercorn’’ it would do it, but that had not been discussed and he indicated any sale would likely be complicated.

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