Pool group bid to settle ‘difficulties’

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Picture this . . . An artist's impression of a concept for the proposed Taieri Aquatic Centre in Mosgiel. IMAGE: APOLLO PROJECTS

A working group of Dunedin city councillors and Taieri Community Facilities Trust members is preparing to unite to iron out “misunderstand-ings and difficulties”.

Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley said that at a council meeting on December 11 it would be recommended a working party comprising Crs Jim O’Malley, Chris Staynes and Conrad Stedman and three trust members – her, Martin Dillon and Bill Feather – be created to steer the proposed Taieri Aquatic Centre project in Mosgiel to completion.

Cr Staynes said there had been “misunderstandings” between the council and the trust.

The group would get the council and the trust “on the same page” and advance the project “quickly over the next 12 months”.

Mrs Mosley said the trust had been requesting the group be formed since April to “open the dialogue” between trust members and councillors.

A “difficulty” arose between the two parties after the council contracted Apollo Projects to do a design and feasibility report without consulting the trust.

The trust had been working to get the report completed free of charge, she said.

The money the council paid for the report could have gone towards the build.

“We have felt at times the council hasn’t been engaged and this working party could be turning a corner,” Mrs Mosley said.

Council infrastructure and networks general manager Ruth Stokes said the council requested the report to prepare budgets for its 10-year plan.

The Apollo report included proposed designs, budgets and delivery programmes for two facilities – one with a main pool with six lanes and one with a main pool with eight lanes.

The facility with the bigger pool also had a bigger hydrotherapy pool and bigger learn-to-swim pool and had additional features including a toddler pool and spa pool.

The report revealed the smaller facility would cost about $8.24million to build and the bigger facility, with the eight-lane pool, would cost about $11.56million to build.

Mrs Mosley said it would cost up to another $2million for work not accounted for in the report, such as landscaping and changes to roading.

The report said if the council approved the facility with the eight-lane pool by July 1 next year, the project could be completed by October 16, 2019.

Mrs Mosley said the trust asked the council to get Apollo to update the report to include costings for a facility with a 10-lane main pool, which could be built if the trust raised enough money.

“The final decision will come to dollar figures and we have until the end of March to prove we can raise this money.”

The council has $6million in its budget for the project for the 2018-19 year and the trust is aiming to raise up to another $7.5million.