FIGHTING FIT: Ulmarra Swimming Pool Preservation Society's Des Flatley says the community won't give up its pool without a fight.
FIGHTING FIT: Ulmarra Swimming Pool Preservation Society's Des Flatley says the community won't give up its pool without a fight. Tim Howard

Report recommends pool closure

THE ULMARRA pool will close at the end of this swimming season if a report to Clarence Valley Council is approved this afternoon.

The report recommends the pool close and the grounds be incorporated into an extension of Bailey Park.

It also offers $1500 to Ulmarra School to subsidise entry to the Grafton, South Grafton or Maclean pools in 2017/18.

Council has met this year with a residents group, the Ulmarra Pool Preservation Association, which has offered to maintain the pool and raise money to lessen the $80,000 annual cost to the council.

It has also held a public meeting in Ulmarra last month to discuss these proposals.

But it is not satisfied UPPA can handle the ongoing commitments of the pool.

It said a proposal to handle maintenance through in-kind contributions from tradespeople was not feasible, and a plan to attract government grants was a good idea, but would need a high level of commitment from the community.

The council was also worried changes in personnel in the UPPA committee would lead to changes in policy.

The council report also dismissed a proposal to allow free access to the pool and fund costs by increasing the rates for people in the vicinity of the pool.

It said this proposal, charging each ratepayer in the Ulmarra area $100 extra, would still leave a shortfall of almost $40,000.

The council's figures showed a total of 306 people used the pool in September and October this year, generating an income of $339. This represented a 44% drop in pool usage over the past three years.

The pool's cost to the council from July 1 to November 10 totalled $48,835.06.

Ulmarra residents have battled plans to shut the pool ever since a 2012 study recommended closure.

In 2013 more than 100 placard waving residents protested against the proposal.

The council meeting begins in Grafton at 2pm this afternoon.



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