SAVE OUR POOL: President of Ulmarra Village Inc Steve Pickering is concerned  a council resolution to fill in the Ulmarra pool will go ahead before they have a chance to save it.
SAVE OUR POOL: President of Ulmarra Village Inc Steve Pickering is concerned a council resolution to fill in the Ulmarra pool will go ahead before they have a chance to save it. Adam Hourigan

POOL: 'We want more time'

IT APPEARS the end is near for the Ulmarra Pool, with a motion for funding the demolition and removal going before Clarence Valley Council Committee meetings on Tuesday.

The motion caught president of the newly formed Ulmarra Village inc, Steve Pickering, by surprise.

In a letter to councillors and local media, Mr Pickering said that "If I hadn't had the foresight to read the Corporate, Governance and Works Committee Meeting agenda I would never have known that council was so intent on destroying our pool without even giving the community the chance to have it reopened.”

Mr Pickering said that they had formed the Ulmarra Village incorporated group with the view of talking to the council and other stakeholders to formulate a plan to reopen the pool.

"At the third town meeting, I asked specifically about separating the Bailey Park redevelopment into two stages, one being the park and the second the pools site, and was told it wasn't necessary because there was no funding available to develop the pool site,” he said.

"Now it turns out it seems like they're trying to rush the demolition of the pool site.”

Clarence Valley Council director Works and Civil, Troy Anderson, said he wasn't present at that meeting and was unable to make a comment on the staging, but said that the council was proceeding with the redevelopment of the park as it resolved at the September meeting.

"At last month's meeting (council) adopted a masterplan for the park, which included the conversion of the old pool site into a bocce court and general recreation space with a synthetic recreation pit and making that a general use and recreation space,” he said.

"With the pool the way it is currently, we're often receiving complaints about it holding water and being a health hazard. This is just the next step in the process to keep the masterplan moving.”

Mr Anderson said the council made the decision to close the pool following a large amount of consultation and public meetings where there were options put forward for the community to run it.

"Nothing came forward and council subsequently resolved to close it,” he said.

"The pool has been closed since April 2017 and we still haven't had a proposal to open it and take it off council's hands.”

Mr Pickering said that while it would be preferable for council to reopen the pool and run it, he said he didn't think that was a viable outcome.

"All we're asking for is more time to get a plan in place, it may be only a matter of months,” he said.

"We don't want to stop the process, we just want time to have a plan to put forward.

"The residents of Ulmarra want the pool open, they never wanted it closed. It was the one facility we had as a community to use and now it's gone.”

The motion will come before Clarence Valley Council's Corporate and Governance and committee meeting at the Grafton Chambers on Tuesday.



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