Centennial Pool should get 'no frills' repair

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 13:07 08/06/2012
Centennial Pool
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
HUGE BENEFIT: The Save Centennial group says the estimated $1.8 million cost to the city council of repairing Centennial Pool is small when compared to the community benefit.

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The earthquake-damaged Centennial Pool complex should be given a "no-frills" repair so central Christchurch residents have quick access to a swimming facility, city councillors have been told.

The Save Centennial group presented a submission to councillors this morning at the third day of the Christchurch City Council's annual plan hearings.

Group spokeswoman Simone Pearson said council-commissioned engineering reports had confirmed that the pool could be repaired, despite previous claims that it was "stuffed".

The estimated $1.8 million repair cost to the council was small when compared to the "immeasurable benefit" that the community would receive if the pool reopened, Pearson said.

The group believed the repair cost could be brought down if the council opted for a "no-frills" approach, cutting out cosmetic work and other non-essential repairs.

"I'm not a pool expert: I don't think it's rocket science, but let's explore this as an option," Pearson said.

Residents did not want to wait several years for a proposed metropolitan sports hub to be built, she said.

The council's draft annual plan, which outlines the city's budget and financial plans for the next 12 months, has proposed a 7.5 per cent rates increase to help fund the city's earthquake recovery.

The rates rise includes a one-off 2 per cent increase to help fund $767m of repair work for the city's top 10 quake-hit facilities, including the Town Hall and the Convention Centre.

More than 2500 submissions were received during the public consulation process.

The hearings will finish tomorrow.

Councillors will then consider whether any changes need to be made before approving a final plan by the end of this month.

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- The Press

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