The Pool: A Big Step Forward and a Sideways Shuffle

Pool Tender Accepted

The building of the Dudley Park Pool leapt its last hurdle at a special Council meeting on Tuesday this week.

A tenderer was approved to build a new pool to replace the now-demolished one in Church Street, Rangiora.  Designed by Warren and Mahoney, the pool will be built by Naylor Love.  It is expected that construction will be completed by early 2010.

That’s the Big Step Forward, but the sideways shuffle?

The 5km Circle Still Hangs Over Rangiora and Southbrook – and unlucky bits of Ashley, Loburn, Tuahiwi, Fernside and Flaxton

At the same time, the Council failed to nail down the last piece of the funding formula.  One third of the total cost cost was to come from a combination of fund-raising and a targeted rate on the “Rangiora area”.  The Council’s Audit Committee had previously defined this area as a 5km radius circle, as the crow flies, around Dudley Park.  You can find this map fairly easily by clicking on Dudley Park Aquatic Centre in the category list on the right.

For a number of reasons, everybody I have talked to  regard this proposal as at best stupid and at worst iniquitous. The obvious issue is that those Waimakariri human beings who will be travelling to the pool will be stuck to the land, most likely on roads. It is also probable that crows will be denied admission to the Pool.

Another issue is that for most of the District, Dudley Park will be, for most of the year, their nearest public swimming pool.

The Council’s three Ward Advisory Boards (Woodend-Ashley, Oxford-Eyre and Rangiora) had all recommended a District-wide rate for this part of the funding formula.  The Kaiapoi Community Board had only said that the Kaiapoi Ward should be excluded from this part of the funding.

Cr Robbie Brine, following the recommendations of the Boards, moved a District-wide rate excluding the Kaiapoi Ward.  This failed by 5 votes to 6. Those who voted for it were Crs Robbie Brine, Dan Gordon, Kevin Felstead, Neil Cruickshank and me.  Those who voted against it were Mayor Ron Keating and Councillors Sandra Stewart, Elaine Cole, Peter Farrant, Roger Blair and Neville Atkinson.

So the status quo remains – no decision.

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