A committee of concerned Corowa residents is to conduct a public meeting next Wednesday in an effort to get Federation Council to change its mind about putting on hold a 25m heated indoor swimming pool.
At its monthly meeting on May 15, councillors voted 5:4 in favour of a 50m outdoor pool, with further investigation into a heated pool.
“Why five of our nine councillors voted against the heated pool complex still leaves me bewildered,” committee spokesperson Maryann Herbert said. “I have not heard any of them give a valid reason for voting this way.
“I was at the May meeting when the vote was taken. I heard the strong argument for accepting Option 2A (heated pool) but still they chose to vote for the 50m outdoor pool with the possibility of building an indoor complex too. How are they going to justify building two? It will not happen.”
Ms Herbert sent a letter, dated May 28, to all councillors of Federation Council. She praised a lot about Corowa and some work by council.
“At present we have the opportunity to further enhance our town by replacing the old outdoor, cold water pool with an indoor/outdoor heated pool complex which would remain open all year,” she said.
Ms Herbert said by voting against the heated pool, councillors are ignoring the health, wellbeing and safety of Corowa, tourists to Corowa all year, a drawcard for future residents, and the fact that local residents drive to other towns to swim and take business away from Corowa.
Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke confirmed that members of council and staff will be attending the community pool meeting to be held next week at the Corowa RSL Club.
“Council welcomes the invite to the meeting as a great opportunity to continue to discuss the pool development project with our residents and hear their views on a heated pool option,” Mayor Bourke said.
“At our May monthly meeting, council resolved to go to tender on a 50m outdoor pool, but the second part to that resolution which appears to have been missed by many, also contained that council will continue to investigate the options for a heated facility, which we are continuing to do so.
“Council has commenced a project implementation plan, including a detailed components brief. A final concept design will be prepared as part of this to allow public tenders to be called and considered by council to ultimately allow for construction of the new facility.”
Mayor Bourke said council has been working towards the replacement of the Corowa Swimming Pool for over 20 years, and all options considered provide a financial challenge for the Council, both on a capital and ongoing cost basis.
“Council will continue to work as hard as it can to deliver a facility that is considered to be able to best meet the needs of many users, and also be something that is achievable both from a capital expenditure point of view, but importantly, from an on-going operational cost perspective,” he said.
“We welcome the opportunity for further discussion on this valued community project as we continue to work towards achieving a positive and sustainable outcome. I urge all residents to understand that it is not a debate about a 50m pool or a 25m heated pool, the council cannot, on current estimated year round heating and labour costs, afford to go straight to a heated year round facility at the first stage, of any size.
“If the tenders for a 50m outdoor pool, splash pad and learn to swim program pool are acceptable, council is very interested to as part of or after this process, continue to find a heated pool option as part of this ultimate development.”
The public meeting will start at 7.30pm, Wednesday, June 13 in the Lone Pine Room at Corowa RSL Club.