$80k fix put to council

Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012
Opinion poll

Who should pay to fill in Century Pool?

The Timaru District Council

Whoever intends to rent the building

The community should fundraise to pay for the job

Vote Result

Century pool
HOLE IN THE PLAN: SC Gymsports need the pool filled in and want the council to foot the bill.

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Public opinion in an online poll is split over who should pay to fill in the pool area at Century pool.

South Canterbury Gymsports wants the district council to foot the $80,000-$100,000 bill for filling in the pool area, before it leases the complex for $100 a year.

Gymsports is the only organisation to have shown any real interest in the complex and has now come back to the Timaru District Council with a proposal for redeveloping the site.

More than 80 people have voted in an online Timaru Herald poll asking people who should foot the bill for the job. As of noon, 40 voters had indicated support for the suggestion the council should cover the cost, against 38 who said the cost should be met by whoever took over the site.

Four voters chose the poll's third option - that the community fundraise to pay for the work.

That proposal will be considered by the council's community development committee tomorrow.

The organisation's plan is to install a floor over the main swimming pool once the pool space has been filled in.

The cost and variety of methods for filling the pool range from using material that can be compacted, to building in foundation piles.

The costs range from $80,000 to $100,000, and the South Canterbury Gymsports steering committee believes the council should pay for that work.

The proposal points out that even if the council was to demolish the building, the pool area would need to be filled.

Demolition is considered a last option, to be carried out only if no justifiable use can be found for the building. The cost of demolition would be higher than the cost of filling the pool.

If the proposal goes ahead Gymsports will set up a trust to run the centre, which would be responsible for the rates, insurance, internal maintenance and its own costs.

Like any other sports group using a council facility, it would be charged an annual lease of $100 and could apply to the council for a grant to cover the cost of the rates and insurance.

The council would own the building and be responsible for structural maintenance.

A report from property manager Matt Ambler notes there is no approved funding for the pool beyond the standard budgets for minor building maintenance, rates and insurance. A possible source would be an internal loan repaid via rates over five years.

Gymsport's reports give no indication of how much it expects converting the centre will cost.

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- The Timaru Herald

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