Posts Tagged ‘Community Pool’
Plans to build a $7 million swimming pool complex in Lower Hutt look set to be shelved in favour of upgrading Petone’s existing outdoor swimming pool. Hutt City Council has been considering whether to renovate the McKenzie Pool in Udy St or to build a new complex at Hikoikoi Reserve.
The council’s leisure active manager, Marcus Sherwood, said he expected the finance and audit committee to agree at a meeting last night to a recommendation to upgrade the existing pool. He said the economic climate meant the returns on building a new complex were “not as certain” as the council would like. Council documents say the new “destination spa and gym complex” would have been a regional drawcard, attracting visitors from out of town and generating better returns than the existing pool, which loses about $155,000 a year. Mr Sherwood said cost was also a major factor behind the recommendation, with the estimated upgrade cost of $1.4 million being far below building a new centre. He expected the community to support upgrading the existing pool, particularly as it was within walking distance of local schools.
I am quite convince that there are megalomaniac tendencies in all council employees when it comes to property development. The backstory of this community pool is that the Petone people, schools and users spoke strongly that they did not want a new developement located at Hikoikoi Reserve or any of the other alternatives. The best option for the majority of users was the redevelopment of the current pool. Thank goodness common sense has prevailed, and this is going to occur. It does remind me of the Eastbourne Bus Barn redevelopment, which I live in hope will be stopped, even though the process is far advanced.
The McKenzie Pool would open on November 21, and upgrade work would not affect this season’s opening hours.
Last Wednesday night was the approval of the Capital expenditure budget for the HCC, both current (rates) and funding for the Long Term Community Council Plan (LTCCP).
In each case we have covered off the arguments for and against several of these projects (listed below). Some of these are well of the mark in regard to public opinion. Just click through to link it to previous posts, to get further insight into where this money is going, and why. To introduce the LTCCP money spend I leave it to the words of the Mayor David Ogden
“Council however remains committed to meeting the community’s need for services and facilities and the changes to the LTCCP reflect that, including:
- Additional $2.3m to bring council’s contribution to the Walter Nash Stadium upgrade to $4m (previous post)
- Extra $100,000 for the Stokes Valley shopping centre upgrade in 2009/10 (see post)
- $2.2m for Korohiwa bus barns redevelopment agreed to (previous post)
- $800,000 for Wainuiomata Hill summit bridge in 2011/12
- $500,000 for Naenae subway improvements in 2011/12 (previous post)
- Additional $200,000 a year for cycle ways from 2009/10 to 2018/19 (see post)
- Grants to Mitchell Street tennis courts ($200,000) and replacement hockey turf at Fraser Park ($100,000)
- $2.15m for environmental initiatives between 2009/10 and 2018/19
- $150,000 to upgrade security cameras in the CBD, and to install new cameras in Wainuiomata from 2009/10 to 2011/12 (see post)
- Funding for a part-time CBD retail coordinator, and further funding to retain a retail coordinator for the Stokes Valley/Naenae/Taita shopping centres (see post)
- $300,000 for the final stage of Hutt Park redevelopment brought forward from 2014/15 to 2009/10 (pr post)
- $500,000 for a synthetic turf at Memorial Park brought forward from 2015/16 to 2011/12, and an extra $10,000 budgeted for in 2009/10
- $50,000 for sound and lighting improvements to Little Theatre in 2009/10
- $500,000 boost to events budget over 10 years
- $300,000 for new street trees to be planted between 2009/19
- Extra $185,000 to upgrade the Tutukiwi orchid house in 2009/10.
Other key features of the LTCCP include:
- $1.25m to upgrade McKenzie Pool in 2010/11 (previous post)
- $1.1m for a learn to swim pool at Huia Pool in 2012/13
- $24m to earthquake strengthen the main council building in 2016/17
- $18m for Cross Valley Link in 2015/16.
We at HuttNZ will investigate the rest of the items not previously posted about in an endeavour to match these up against the LTCCP presented to the commnity, and if warranted will look into items that need more public discussion.
No doubt many of these items will raise concerns to the public, but several need to be looked at in light of central government spending that supports several of these projects, and is incumbent on local government to support them as well.
Please use the links provided to gain greater understanding of these current projects.
I look forward to your comments.
The vast majority of submissions made to the McKenzie Pool working group are in favour of the existing site in Udy St being redeveloped, an analysis of 500 of the 800 submissions shows.
Just on 56% of the submissions are in favour of developing the existing site, 26% support constructing a more sophisticated pool complex on a different site.
The working group met last week to discuss the two remaining swimming pool options: redeveloping the existing McKenzie Pool site (estimated cost $1.25 million) or building a leisure/spa complex on Hikoikoi Reserve on the foreshore in Petone ($6 million).
“By far the greater recommendation in the submissions is to keep the McKenzie pool site,” Cr Joy Baird, who chairs the group, says.
But public submissions are only “one input” into the decision making process, and they must be further analysed, she says.
The views of the people who made the submissions are dictated by the current usage, proximity and convenience of the McKenzie pool, she believes.
The group has requested information on where the people who made submissions come from – the Hutt or Petone, for example. They also want the projected running costs and expected patronage for the two options.
But Joan McGrath, principal of Sacred Heart School, and the Petone Schools Representative in the Working Group, is concerned the submissions will not be given the weight they deserve in the decision making process.
“My fear is that the council want an iconic site on the foreshore and will disregard all objections to achieve that.”
She says there is a “clear feeling” that the council is favouring the development of the ‘destination’ pool on the foreshore. Ms McGrath also believes the submitters, when voting for the more sophisticated site, were unaware it would be at the Hikoikoi site.
“I don’t think that was made clear,” she says.
Cr Baird says that even though the Hikoikoi site would be considerably more expensive, the council is leaning towards a ‘destination pool’.
“Hutt City doesn’t have a pool like that. Our pools are not very sophisticated.”
Current Council reference terms and reports here
Petone currently has the outdoor McKenzie Pool in Udy Street Petone. It was built in 1933 and is only open over summer for roughly 15 weeks.
A report in 2007 by the city council found it was in poor condition and needs roughly $900,000 worth of maintanence.
A working group was established to investigate a number of options and as councillors prepare for final debate on the 2009/2010 Community Plan, $1.25 million has been earmarked for this project to progress.
The latest report from the working group concludes there are only two realistic options:
Estimated cost of $1.3 million for an outdoor pool that would operate 22 weeks a year.
2. Start anew on Hikoikoi Reserve
Build a “leisure spa” on the reserve (which has not been costed) estimated to top $6million.
This option would include an indoor pool, gym, spa, toddlers pool and cafe.
Council officers have promoted the Hikoikoi Reserve as a regional facility that would attract people to Hutt City. The report said the reserve had many advantages including its size, proximity to a childrens playground, parking availability, room for expansion and proximity to a main arterial road. The report also suggested that the council stands a better chance of getting outside funding if it built a regional facility. The cost of this development could be offset partly by the sale of the McKenzie Pool site (est value $480,000). Also building on the reserve enables the current pool to used until project is completed.
A third site was being considered being the Settlers Muesum site. It has the advantage of proximity to the beach and a main road, and would return the building to its original purpose, supporting recreational activities on the beach. However several issues need to be considered carefully, the site is long and narrow, limited parking, high likelihood of opposition from residents concerned at the loss of a view, and the alterations to a heritage building. Given all of this it is not a likely contender.
In March, a working group of council staff, politicians and community representatives called for a business meeting to discuss further the available options and make some agreement on going forward on the project.
Several other options need to be investigated including Petone Rec, Weltec and the benefits to the principal users not being lost in any redevelopment