Cowra mayor Bill West says the town’s current pool remains a priority while the Cowra Arthritis Group campaigns for a heated facility.
“We have a report being compiled at the moment on the existing pool and there is some concern being expressed about what might need to be done on the existing pool which I consider to be a priority,” Cr West said this week.
“I imagine that report would cover things such as a splash pool and given the current conversations I am sure there would be some commentary around a heated pool.
“The thing the community needs to understand is the conversation about a heated pool, in some respects, is a little simplistic in so much as the council now has the responsibility to get information to the community about all the why’s and where’s and that would include the cost of building a pool and re-current expenditure.”
Cr West said initial indications for construction of an indoor pool were in the many millions with re-current expenditure in the hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis.
“The cost becomes a real issue that needs to be understood,” Cr West said.
“Council doesn’t have a big bucket of money so its a matter of prioritising.
“It becomes a matter of competing interests for Council and grant funding, be it a pool, west Cowra drainage, a low level bridge.
“It’s not that council doesn’t want (a heated indoor pool) or understand what people are saying, it’s a matter of financial cost.
“If the state government builds it, we still have to maintain it,” Cr West said.
“An option is there are conversations about a new hospital in Cowra, a pool for arthritis, physiotherapy would be ideal, maybe that is another avenue for people to go down, talking to Western Area Health about having it included as part of that plan,” Cr West said.
The Cowra Arthritis Support group is making an attempt to get the town an indoor heated pool and an online Cowra Guardian poll is showing overwhelming support for the concept.
The Cowra Arthritis group has put together a petition to take to Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke at a meeting on April 3.
Arthritis Support Group steering committee Chair, Sally Blinkhorn said they loved the current facilities but it was time for another upgrade.
As of 11am Thursday our poll had recorded 326 votes with 288 respondents saying Yes the wanted and would use a heated indoor pool, 27 say Yes they wanted the pool but probably wouldn’t use it and 11 saying No it was too cold in Cowra even for a heated indoor pool.
“Because of our members’ condition, when the weather changes many of our members lose the ability to exercise,” she said.
“If you would like to be involved in the upgrade of the pool then come along to our meeting”.
The meeting will be held at the Cowra Aquatic Centre meeting room at 2pm on April 3.
Petition forms can be found at Steel, Walsh and Murphy and Cowra Guardian offices and organisations wanting their own form can collect one from Steel, Walsh and Murphy.
Forms must be returned before April 3. For more information contact Gordon and Sally Blinkhorne on 0400 478 567.