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Plans for a new $11.5 million Mosgiel pool complex have passed their first hurdle, after being referred to next year's Dunedin City Council long-term plan hearings for consideration.
Councillors at yesterday's community development committee voted to refer the project to the January meeting, meaning the decision to build the pool - and the timeline for doing so - would be considered alongside other projects at the hearing.
The decision came after the Mosgiel complex emerged as the top priority project in a $31.7 million wish-list of spending on aquatic facilities in Dunedin.
Next on the list was a $13.2 million upgrade of Moana Pool, followed by $7 million training pool at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, a distant third-placed option.
The projects were identified by the council's aquatic facilities working party as the best ways of easing pressure on the city's overcrowded facilities.
Working party chairman Cr Colin Weatherall, discussing the proposals last week, said he hoped the Mosgiel pool - serving the city's entire southern catchment - would be supported by councillors and built in "three to five years".
The idea won vocal support from Cr Neil Collins yesterday, as he urged councillors to find money for the pool next year.
Moana Pool was too small and Taieri residents had been waiting "a long, long time for a decent swimming pool", he said.
"We have got to move with the times and provide what the people want."
Cr Jinty MacTavish said she supported adding the project to the agenda for next year's long-term plan hearings, despite the fiscal constraints faced by the city over the next two years.
She wanted to consider a wide range of projects next year before helping decide which should proceed, and when, and expected a "robust" discussion.
"The reality is we are in a fiscally constrained environment. There are a number of competing priorities."
Cr Teresa Stevenson remained unconvinced a Mosgiel pool would ease pressure on Moana Pool, but Cr Weatherall said he would provide her with more information.
Yesterday's decision endorsed the Mosgiel pool as the city's top aquatic services project, at least until debate at next year's hearing.