Timaru's unwanted former Century Pool hydroslide could be on the verge of a bizarre return to the pool site.
Its owner, Picton property developer Terry Brown, is seeking damages of upwards of $2 million from the Timaru District Council over his claim the council breached its $10,000 handshake deal.
Brown said he made the decision to rid himself of the slide yesterday, after making a late payment of $3120.64 to Washdyke firm Aeromarine.
The company had redesigned the hydroslide for use at Brown's planned water park near Picton. Aeromarine general manager Simon Robb said the company had advertised a public auction of the slide in yesterday's Herald, in order to recover the debt and remove an "eyesore" from the company's Washdyke yard. The auction was cancelled after Brown paid the outstanding bill.
Brown, who purchased the slide and equipment for $10,000 when the pool closed, said the council had breached its contract.
Brown's lawyer, Michael Starling, said he had hoped to negotiate with the council over reparation relating to the slide deal, but the council was yet to respond.
Starling said there was no written contract covering the terms of the sale, but council delays which had prevented the removal of the slide's pump could be interpreted as a breach of contract.
Starling warned that if the council did not negotiate, it would be up to the courts to interpret how much the council might owe Brown for delays which had come at the expense of Brown's planned Picton water park.
Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Brown considered his best option was to return the slide to its former location, and then, through his lawyer, pursue the district council for the cost of the deal to him, and lost income from the slide not being available for the water park.
Brown said the council initially wanted the slide and equipment gone quickly, but when he sent contractors to do so, the council gave numerous reasons why it could not be done.
Council property manager Matt Ambler said a consent was required to remove the pump and stairs from the Craigie Ave site.
It was issued four months ago.
Ambler said Brown was informed in March that the consent had been issued, but he had not acted on it.
Brown stated he never received the consent.
Asked about Brown's latest claims, Ambler insisted there had been no breach of contract on the council's part, and said he would seek legal advice about Brown's plans.
- The Timaru Herald