By Chelsea Boyle
Concerns have been raised over the condition of the Carterton indoor pool, with a report facing councillors saying it needs “significant improvements”.
The pool, owned and operated by the Carterton Swimming Club (CSC), is long overdue for an upgrade.
The subject was raised at Wednesday’s Carterton District Council infrastructure and strategy meeting.
Parks and reserve manager Brian McWilliams reported that the council owned pool looked good with the one outstanding issue being “the seismic strength of the changing facilities”.
However, the major concern discussed around the table was the condition of the indoor pool, adjacent to the council pools and privately owned.
Mr McWilliams said there were “fairly obvious” problems, which included no ventilation.
He said the chlorinated air was causing a lot of rust.
Mayor John Booth said he was “perturbed” hearing about the condition of the pool and queried if the pool should be being used at the moment.
Planning and regulatory manager Dave Gittings said that was not up to council, and all they could do was raise the issues with CSC and let the club make its own decisions.
Mr Booth said a key reason behind the existing condition would be that “they lack the finances to do what needs to be done”.
Deputy Mayor Russell Keys said the council needed “to get involved with the swimming club” to see what they could come up with.
Councillor Brian Deller said “the building might be sound and the problems might be more cosmetic”.
Mr McWilliams said it would be “negligent” if the council did not point out issues that needed addressing.
A new advisory group, consisting of Bill Sloane (representing the swim club), Mr Keys and Mr McWilliams, will be reviewing all of the swimming pools in the Pembroke St complex.
CSC secretary Rik Anderson said in the past the community had rallied to get that pool.
“They built the pool for 20 years and we are now at the 30-year mark.
“It’s come to the point where some big decisions need to be made about the viability of an indoor pool and given it’s the only facility in the South Wairarapa, the idea that it doesn’t exist at some time in the future is not good for anybody.”
He said working with council was a “great opportunity”.
“If they are upgrading, doing earthquake strengthening and doing some work to their pool, it would make sense that we work together on this.”
It would reduce cost and come up with a complete facility that was “ideal” for the whole community.
Mr Anderson said running a pool in a commercial environment was an expensive business, adding that the CSC was a non-profit organisation.
Swimming coach Russell Geange, from the Russell Geange Swim Academy, has been a fulltime coach since the late 90s and knows first-hand how important the indoor pool is to the community.
He said the club’s success would have been impossible without an indoor pool, which enabled swimmers to train year-round.
“It’s like anything, as time goes by things need changing, it is time for us to update a little bit.”