Plea for council to increase pool funding

Irene Mosley
Irene Mosley
It will be virtually impossible for  Taieri residents  to raise enough money for a new pool if the Dunedin City Council does not budge on its $6.3 million pledge, the woman leading the fundraising campaign says.

Taieri Communities Facility Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley has made one final plea for an increase to the $6.3 million set aside by the council, before councillors meet to discuss the final plan in two weeks.

Dozens of submissions were made to the council’s 10-year plan asking for money to be set aside for the new Taieri Aquatic centre.

Mrs Mosley said on Tuesday the council needed to contribute about $10 million to replace the existing pool and replace it with a "like for like" facility.

Like for like meant building a facility which included an eight-lane pool and a learners pool, she said.

A report by Apollo Projects estimated an eight-lane pool, which included hydrotherapy, learners and spa pools, would cost about $11.5 million.

That did not include the cost of roading changes, demolition of the old pool, relocation of the Mosgiel Caravan Park and landscaping work.

Mrs Mosley said the community was happy to raise the money needed to include extras such as a hydrotherapy and spa pool but did not want to fund a core council service.

"We’ve got little old ladies making jam to raise money for the pool — do we really want that?"

The trust was confident it could raise about $5 million but the $7.5 million it had originally aimed for would be difficult, she said.

"We’re confident we’ve got the next million sorted and then a plan in place to take us to $5 million. But after that it’s extremely difficult."

Mayor Dave Cull thanked Mrs Mosley for her submission and said the council looked forward to progressing the pool project during deliberations.

Cr Aaron Hawkins said he understood the community’s concerns but what was being proposed did not "mesh" with what had been discussed previously, which was the community and council would pay half each.

Mrs Mosley said it had always been the situation the community would pay for extras, but for some reason the situation had changed in the past three years.

"It’s gone off the rails a little bit and I think we just need to go back to what the original proposal was," she said.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

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