Pool consultation likely in new year

The Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board hopes to start consulting the community about a new pool in the new year, possibly with a survey to gauge the level of interest in the project.

At its November 12 meeting, the board discussed what its next move on the pool should be, given a need to convince the council to fund further investigation of the project in its 2014-15 budget.

A council working party recently recommended to the council that, because of the growth in the area, the council's priority should be a new pool for Mosgiel before it upgraded Moana Pool in the central city.

Councillors agreed to consider funding for further investigative works on the preferred Mosgiel pool option, but noted they would need to be convinced the community was committed to the project.

Initial discussions on the budget are to be held in January.

The board agreed it would at that time indicate its support for the council's resolution to consider funding further investigations.

It would also indicate its intention to survey residents to obtain a clear picture for the council, before councillors deliberated on the budget in May, of what residents would prefer in terms of facilities and location.

During a debate on the matter, board member Martin Dillon said the working party had already established that people wanted the pool.

Everyone who had ever approached him about it was supportive and he said the board needed to get the funding before it could put the project to the community.

''They must approve that, or we're dead in the water,'' he said.

But Mark Willis said naturally people approaching him about a pool wanted it, and the working party had been about establishing where Dunedin's growth was, not about whether that community wanted a pool there.

The council was going to require some evidence of buy-in from the local community first, and the question was how to get that, Mr Willis said.

''We need a full consultative survey to see what people want specifically in a pool. And we need it prior to going to the council. We need a mandate from the ratepayers that this is what we want.''

He noted the project would have to be supported by all Dunedin ratepayers, not just those in the southern suburbs, who needed to be sure they were not left to carry the debt alone, while everyone paid rates for Moana Pool.

Maurice Prendergast said he struggled to be involved in the discussion if it led to any increase in council debt.

There was general agreement that the community board had to be a leader in any project and that if the council agreed to fund further investigations, a trust would have to be set up to run a fundraising project.

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