The three options on the table for proposed Tannum pool
FOR years Boyne Island and Tannum Sands residents have been crying out for a pool but there are concerns the region's ratepayers could cry foul over the cost of its ongoing maintenance.
Council yesterday approved the adoption of the Boyne Tannum Aquatic Recreation Centre feasibility study and the project will now go forward to public consultation.
The feasibility study was finalised on December 21 and helped water 11 potential sites down to three - Hampton Dr, Coronation Dr and Canoe Point Rd.
The Coronation Dr land is owned by council, 3 Hampton Dr with Boyne Smelters and 10 Canoe Point Rd set aside as a reserve by Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy with council as trustee.
The study also considered four scenarios based on the size of the site and swimming pool length, along with extra amenities that could include a gym, children's splash pool, indoor hydrotherapy, waterside and other features.
Gladstone Regional Council set aside $250,000 for the feasibility study but only spent $68,200 with the leftover funds to be used towards the concept design. This stage is likely to take place in June after the public consultation period ends.
However there are concerns regarding the overall cost of the aquatic centre with varying figures based on the location of the site and size of the complex.
Council is looking toward the State and Federal governments for full financial assistance with the pool's construction cost, but would likely have to bear the ongoing maintenance costs.
Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor questioned how much the ongoing cost of maintaining the pool would be and had his answer fielded by GRC chief financial officer and acting CEO Mark Holmes.
"Based on if we were to get this 100 per cent funded on a 25m pool it's likely to cost us $2million (per year) and for a 50m pool it's $2.23million," Mr Holmes said at the meeting.
While not denying an aquatic centre would prove popular for the people of Boyne/Tannum, Cr Trevor questioned the need and listed six other pools in the region that could be accessed by that community.
"If you want to deliver a pool to Tannum Sands they'll be waving palm fronds in front of you as you walk down to make the announcement, but at the end of the day we've got too many pools in our jurisdiction anyway," Cr Trevor said.
"How are rates ever going to be reduced while we continue to spend? Yes it's popular to deliver this wonderful, new pool to part of our region but we're going to leave the legacy of debt for other councils to pick up at some stage in the future.
"Whether it's funded by the (Federal) or State (governments), or a combination of both, we've still got the future recurrent funding of $2million a year. Where are we going to find that?"
Mayor Matt Burnett said external funding would need to be sought for the project to be built.
"As a council we are conscious of the cost of a facility and mindful of the impact on ratepayers, so we will be seeking funding from State and/or Federal governments," he said.
Cr Burnett said there would be a range of options to be presented during the period of community engagement.
"Council will seek the community's views on their preferred location and preferred components of the aquatic centre," he said.
Council officers will carry out community engagement at the first Beach Arts Music event of the year at Tannum Sands on March 2.