No pool closure – yet
ONE of Grafton's two swimming pools should close before any of the pools in outlying areas like Glenreagh or Ulmarra, says a Clarence Valley councillor.
Tuesday's meeting of Clarence Valley Council voted against closing any pool in the Clarence Valley, despite adopting the council's Aquatic Facilities Study.
The study recommended council close the Glenreagh and Ulmarra pools, but during a period of community consultation there was strong opposition to the proposition.
Cr Andrew Baker commended the Glenreagh and Ulmarra communities and noted there were much greater savings to be made by closing a pool in Grafton.
"The savings they are talking about are $120,000. Council could save three or four times that by closing one of the two Grafton pools," Cr Baker said.
He supported the motion to keep all the pools open, but said a time was coming when the community would have to make a hard decision.
"Eventually we will have to work out what we can afford and what we can't afford," he said.
"If we can't afford to supply the luxury of two swimming pools people will have to realise they can't have everything their little hearts desire. Then they will have to make the hard choices themselves."
Cr Karen Toms also suggested the council needed to look at closing a Grafton pool.
She said in comparison to Glenreagh and Ulmarra, community meetings at the Grafton pools were poorly attended.
Mayor Richie Williams commended the work of Glenreagh citizen Ces Wellington who provided council with a table of figures which formed the basis of fee increases that pools will adopt this year.
The council will advertise the fee schedules for its pools by this weekend.
VALLEY residents keen for a cool dip need only wait until Saturday for the opening of Grafton Memorial Pool.
The pool will open a few weeks ahead of schedule to bring the season into line with the school holidays, which also begin at the weekend.
Pool manager Aleura Paterson said pool lifeguards had completed their annual refresher course and tiling at the pool had been completed in time for Saturday's opening.
CLARENCE Valley pensioners won out in the review of fees for entry in the region's swimming pools this summer.
At Tuesday's full meeting of Clarence Valley Council, councillors decided to peg pensioner season tickets across the Valley at $122.
The category was scheduled to be removed and pensioners possibly charged the full adult rate.
Cr Sue Hughes was successful with an amendment to have the fee retained for all pools.