Pool closures not on the cards

Eurobodalla Shire Council has assured the community that it is not considering closing the shire’s pools.

Council is conducting a community survey as part of the formal review, which will help build a new business model to manage the three pools.

Community and corporate outcomes director Kerry Foster confirmed the review was not  looking at ways to close one of the pools.

“We have three pools,” she said. “There’s no intention to, say, reduce to one or two. We have three.”

Rather, she said the review was examining the best way to manage all three.

“We’ve got to really understand how the community wants to be able to use those pools,” Ms Foster said.

“The pool management review is very much getting up to date with the preference of pool users.”

She said the feedback from the 

survey would help form the consultant’s recommendation to council on how the pools should be managed in the future.

In a report released in April, it was revealed that running the shire’s pools this financial year cost council $285,821 - more than $90,000 over budget.

Councillors discussed whether running the pools with a limited return was financially viable, and approved a review.

This month’s survey, which closes on January 25, has been a hot topic for residents.

Council’s Facebook page has been hammered with 2785 people clicking on the link to the pool review, Ms Foster said.

So far, 229 surveys have been completed online and about 100 hard copies submitted.

Ms Foster said responses in the survey had been “quite positive” so far.

“The majority are in agreement with how the pools are managed; they’re pretty happy with what’s happening.”

One of the questions asks respondents if they would like to see improvements and if they would be willing to pay extra.

“People said yes they would like to see improvements but, no, we don’t want to pay more for those improvements,” Ms Foster said.

The previous council debated in April whether it was worth council fpaying $25,000 for a consultant to review the shire’s pools.

At the time, Cr Lindsay Brown asked if council could take over the pools’ management.

However, Ms Foster said this week that was unlikely because council wasn’t in the pool management business.

“Already there’s a fairly robust debate in the community about staffing levels and council isn’t in the business of management of pools,” she said.

“We probably have a better ability with a contracted service.

“You need certain skills, you need some business entrepreneur skills and you need to understand how pools operate.”

She said renewing the contract kept it fresh and vibrant.

“It’s refreshing every few years to look at this contract. It keeps council on its toes also because it ensures the management we put in place is management the community wants.”

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