THE merits of upgrading and opening the Orange Ex-Services' Club pool under Orange City Council's banner will be weighed against building another 25-metre indoor pool following an offer from the club.
The club plans to close the pool on April 29, but after councillor Glenn Taylor put a motion forward to ask the board to reconsider the decision or contribute to a new facility, club chief executive officer Daniel Perkiss offered a 10-year lease at $1 a year.
However, he warned the facility had incurred losses of $100,000 a year and would cost $378,000 to bring it up to standard, including new filtration and heat exchange systems, basic upgrades to toilets and showers and a new pool lining.
"If we review the operating costs and interest over the next decade, the club requires an outlay of some $6.5 million to provide this facility to members," he said.
He said the club remained comfortable with its decision.
Cr Taylor said he was surprised by the offer and amended his motion to consider the lease pending investigations on the viability, saying the facility had been open for 50 years.
"It's not like it's just been sprung on them, I would imagine there would be an ongoing process as far as maintenance," he said.
Cr Taylor said people were worried about how to access a heated pool.
"The Hill Street pool was put in place to complement the existing pools in this city, not to replace them," he said.
General manager Garry Styles said the report councillors would receive would also consider a second indoor pool at Orange Aquatic Centre or the multipurpose sporting precinct.
Councillor Tony Mileto said the club had a responsibility to its entire membership, not just its swimmers.
"Financial insolvency is also the responsibility of those directors," he said.
Councillor Russell Turner remained firmly against the idea, saying he preferred a facility to be on council-owned and controlled land.
"Could you imagine the bureaucracy if trying to get a state government grant to help Orange City Council upgrade a facility inside a licensed club?" he said.
Councillor Joanne McRae said locating a pool inside the multipurpose complex meant teams could use it for training and cool-downs.
"If we're looking at NRL games coming to town, surely they would utilise such an aquatic centre so we may have a much greater opportunity than to take on someone's bomby old car for a dollar a year for 10 years to keep people happy in the short term," she said.
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