Mosgiel pool plan moves up agenda

A replacement for Mosgiel's 80-year-old pool is firmly on the agenda this year.

The community and the Dunedin City Council has been talking about the ageing pool for seven years but some are hoping the issue will finally be resolved.

Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said the issue had drawn the second-highest number of submissions to the council's Draft Annual Plan this year.

''That is a major step forward for us. First step was actually getting the council to make mention of the pool in the annual plan draft document.''

Mayor Dave Cull said the pool had not been allocated any funds in the 2013-14 Draft Annual Plan but the aquatic services working party had been re-convened to look at the information that had been gathered.

''It is more than just finding the money to build it, there is also the money to operate it and we have identified that given the amount of patronage, the subsidy from the ratepayers for each visitor to the pool would be considerably higher than it would be at Moana Pool, for instance,'' Mr Cull said.

The working party is due to report back to the council in September this year.

Mr Feather said each time he had been in meetings about the pool with the council, a group of councillors had asked whether Mosgiel residents would be prepared to pay a targeted rate for it.

''My feeling is that if Mosgiel is part of the overall aquatic strategy then it is there to service the needs of Dunedin and the wider Mosgiel catchment area in particular.''

He said the community would most likely throw its support behind a pool, by fundraising and providing the extras that were needed to make it a great facility.

He was sceptical of the latest estimated cost of $18 million - $7 million more than an estimate from a year earlier.

He said the pool was close to the end of its life and people were frustrated because it was not open from April to October and they had to travel to Dunedin.

''It is too small, too cold and not open long enough.''

''Often the spectators get as wet if not wetter than those inside the pool because of the amount of condensation that comes off the roof, so it has had its day.''

Mr Cull said if the community and the council worked together they might find a way of building a pool ''in the medium term''.

Mosgiel Taieri Wellbeing Group chairwoman Kitty Caldwell said they could not do much until there was an outcome from the working group.

''The community is very, very keen, as submissions will indicate. I haven't heard anyone say we don't need a pool in Mosgiel,'' Mrs Caldwell said.

Mr Feather said the pool would need to cater for a wide range of people.

''We have the old and the young, we have the fitness freaks in the middle and each of those different categories have different needs from a swimming pool.''

He hoped the working group would keep an open mind about the options available.

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