Pool upgrade still in limbo

The Dunedin physio pool upgrade is still in limbo and the Southern District Health Board is tight-lipped about the delayed project.

The Otago Therapeutic Pool Trust is waiting to hear back from the board about its request for a 30-year lease for the pool, which is in the Fraser Building.

As well as health board approval, it needs to be signed off by the Ministry of Health and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, but yesterday Dr Coleman's spokeswoman said the lease proposal was yet to reach Wellington.

"The ministry have confirmed they've not received a lease proposal; discussions are still ongoing between the DHB and the trust,'' the spokeswoman said.

This week, the health board released a statement that was almost identical to one a month ago.

The statement said it was working through the process and keeping the pool trust informed.

After a successful fundraising campaign last year, the $1million upgrade was supposed to start last month, but was put off because the lease had not been agreed on.

Last month, officials admitted that a factor in the unexpected delay was the long-term redevelopment plan for the campus.

It is unclear why the issue was not aired earlier, given the redevelopment has been in the offing for several years.

The pool trust has also been unwilling to say too much about the situation.

Secretary-treasurer Neville Martin said the trust was seeking a a long-term lease in order to justify the expense of the upgrade.

It is seeking a 30-year lease in three 10-year blocks. While it had raised enough money for the upgrade, the trust was still seeking donations to fund operating costs, Mr Martin said.


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