Pool project funds for scoping only

The Dunedin City Council has accepted an offer from the Taieri Community Facilities Trust to work with the council on developing further a project for a proposed new pool in Mosgiel.

It has also set aside $30,000 of the $50,000 requested by the trust for that work, but the money came with a clear message to the community.

''It is critical the community understand the very, very limited capacity the council has to fund this project and the current complete absence of funding budgeted for this facility,'' Cr Jinty MacTavish said.

Other councillors expressed similar concerns.

''I'm a little concerned that we keep putting resolutions like we have for South Dunedin Library [which councillors this week decided to put on hold for at least another year] that raise expectations that keep getting dashed.

"We need to make it clear we have no money, and that we are supporting this so the community can work out itself what this will cost and how they can find that money themselves,'' Cr Chris Staynes said.

Councillors subsequently passed a resolution specifically noting there was no funding in the council's long-term budgets for a new pool, although the council would continue to maintain the existing pool.

Specifically, the council's main resolution was that it accepted the trust's offer to engage with it and determine terms of reference and areas of responsibility for both the trust and the council in investigating the establishment, ownership and operation of a proposed Mosgiel Pool facility.

After spending so much time arriving at wording satisfactory to all councillors that Cr Richard Thomson quipped the pool would be built before they had agreed on it, he also noted there were plenty of in-kind ways the council could support the Taieri community to get the new pool, such as around consents and possibly making land available.

Cr MacTavish said she could support it only because of the resolution making it clear the council had no funding to give for the pool.

''I applaud the trust and the people associated with the trust, but we need to be completely upfront with them about our relevant ability to contribute, and at the moment that's not high.''

Cr Kate Wilson said there was a large demand for a new pool and she knew it took a lot of money, but communities could sometimes do it more cheaply than the council could.

The community was very keen to do this and she was pleased the resolution had been passed, as it would have been sad to lose that enthusiasm by not setting aside what was really very little money.

Trust chairman Geoff Woodcock said the trust was pleased to have been granted the funding.

''We're really happy the council shared the same vision for the potential pool in Mosgiel and look forward to working with [it] to achieve that vision.''

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz


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