Progress being made in pool funding talks

Communication between parties negotiating a bid for Dunedin City Council funding for Mosgiel's proposed multimillion-dollar aquatic centre is steadily improving, one of the drivers of the project says.

Councillors voted unanimously to defer a decision on the pool's future in November last year, after council staff disagreed with the trust's estimate it would cost $14.4million for a four-pool complex, and recommended a two-pool design instead.

Councillors, council staff and members of the Taieri Community Facilities Trust looked at aquatic facilities from Dunedin to Christchurch last week to find examples that could be built in Mosgiel.

Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley met Cr Richard Thompson last week to discuss the trip and said she left the meeting feeling positive about the progress the trust and the council were making.

‘‘We all feel like we're getting close to something that might work,'' Ms Mosley said.

‘‘Communication is improving all the time.

‘‘We're all feeling our way and we have to develop our trust and relationships with all the parties and I feel like we're starting to get a bit of a team together.''

Information from the trip had been collated and that would help form the plan the parties would present to the council, Ms Mosley said.

‘‘I'm certainly feeling like we're making progress.

‘‘I know we have to be patient, but things are moving along behind the scenes.

‘‘I'm feeling positive about the stages we're ticking off at the moment.''

Cr Thompson agreed all parties were trying to work together.

‘‘It's not an easy process. There are a whole pile of variables that have to be managed.

‘‘There's the desire for the community to drive as much as they can of that process, and there's a feeling the greater the community input, the more they would value the facility.

‘‘But on the other hand, the council is ultimately going to pick up the tab for things like ongoing operating costs and long-term repairs and maintenance costs.

‘‘They've got an interest in ensuring we have mechanisms in place to make the project as viable as it can be.''

Those interests had to be managed together if the project was going to be successful, he said.

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