Good news about progress towards a swimming pool for Waiheke.
The completion last month of the Swimming Pool Feasibility Study commissioned by this Board is the necessary first step towards getting a community pool on the island. The study was encouraging. The cost has fallen from $9million a few years ago to around $5million. Five potential sites have been identified. These need further assessment to decide the most suitable.
Last October Faye, Don, and I voted to put money from our Small Local Improvements fund towards the study.
Member Paul Walden requested that his vote against the motion to pay for a swimming pool feasibility study be recorded
Council Facility Partnerships officers had been advising Te Huruhi School on the possibility of upgrading their existing summer pool but Te Huruhi School has, reportedly, decided not to pursue a Partnerships application. Complications with the school pool include the school being due for a complete rebuild, the current pool has a crack in it, and water discharge issues meant resource consents could not be issued without considerable expense.
Maybe this is fortuitous. The Facilities Partnership with the Waiheke High School to build a Recreation Centre has not worked out well for the wider community. Whilst the Ministry of Education provided the land, the cost of building fell on Council and other parties, such as the ASB. Over $1million of Council money was spent providing a facility, which has more benefit for the school than the community as a whole. This must not happen with a community pool.
In my opinion it is far better to find Council land for a Council public pool.
The Board has requested that the Waiheke feasibility study now goes into the central pot, so that a new pool for Waiheke is considered as part of the regional aquatic facility network, funded by full Council. The Mayor has stated that he wants all Boards areas to have access to a community pool. This is the first step and should bring us up the list.