Trust formation good first step

The next step towards getting a new pool in Mosgiel will be setting up a group to raise funds from the communities of southern Dunedin.

The Dunedin City Council agreed this week to consider during the next annual plan process setting aside some seed funding for further investigation of a proposal for a new $8.95 million pool at Mosgiel.

The move was recommended by an aquatic facilities working party set up to look into the provision of swimming in Dunedin.

Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said he was ''certainly not disappointed'' with the outcome of this week's meeting and had not had any higher expectations from the way the working party's recommendations were worded.

''Though some councillors believed things were being promised that might not be able to be delivered, I didn't see it in that light at all.

''I saw it that there was further work to be done and this was the trigger point at which that work was to start and put down some seeding money to allow in-depth analysis and investigation to begin.''

Although there were calls from councillors for the community to step up and show the council how enthusiastic it was, the decision did not leave it in a position to start fundraising immediately, Mr Feather said.

''Where it leaves the community is that it needs to rise to the challenge and get itself in a position where it can show it has the wherewithal to start fundraising.

''It's getting the procedures in place, arranging maybe for a trust to be created and for people to drive the trust.''

Getting that groundwork and structure in place was the way forward, and it needed to be in place by annual plan time so the council knew the community was serious.

He was a little concerned some councillors had talked about the community coming to them and telling them what it could do.

''It's almost like they are saying that we should put a price on what we can deliver, but until we know what it is we are aiming for, then we really can't fix them a number in mind I don't believe.''

The community's position was that it was ready to start fundraising, and it was not shying away from the partnership with the council, but the community and the council both needed to know what each other was prepared to do.

The pool will be part of pre-draft annual plan discussions in January, before it can be included in the draft plan.

One problem the board could strike was with timing, Mr Feather said.

He hoped it could get a full meeting in before Christmas, otherwise the first meeting would not be until the end of January, when the annual plan process was well under way. Chairmen of each board got an opportunity to state their positions at pre-draft annual plan meetings that month.

He said he had been challenged by councillors several times about a targeted rate for the pool project, and one councillor raised it again this week.

''I just wonder in my mind, would they be looking at a targeted rate to do what they have to at Moana Pool as well, and are they expecting Mosgiel to contribute to Moana Pool? I suspect they are.

''But they don't sound as though they are interested in the northern side of town contributing to Mosgiel and its pools.''

Cr Colin Weatherall, the chairman of the working party that recommended a new Mosgiel Pool be prioritised over expanding Moana Pool, said he had already offered his services, after his retirement from local body politics at this election, to represent the wider southern catchment on any group working on the project and help the community with the pool project.

''It leaves the Mosgiel community in the driving seats. Once they are through the election, get their board and a working party to focus on this and start working together. I've already offered, if I was to be co-opted representing the wider catchment, I'd be very keen to be supportive of the initial stages of their research and work and presentation to council, in a way also to ensure their focus is Mosgiel and wider.''

The southern catchment includes the whole area of Dunedin from Abbotsford and Green Island, south and across to Middlemarch.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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