Strathbogie Shire Council

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Have your say on pool survey

Do you use any one of the four outdoor swimming pools in the Shire of Strathbogie during summer?

Do you travel out of town to use the pool?

Is swimming an important part of your life?

Now is your chance, as a resident this shire, to have your say on the future of pools in this municipality.

You will soon receive a pool survey in the mail to complete and return to council by close of business Friday, January 8, either in an envelope or online via Survey Monkey.

Significant research has been undertaken, revealing that over the next 10 years, pools in the Strathbogie Shire will cost council approximately $3 million in operating expenses and $3.5 million in Capital Renewal Works, a total of $6.5 million in ratepayer dollars.

The pool survey will ask respondents to fill out personal details, including how often they used the pool (single or family) and if they travelled outside the shire to swim.

Statistics, shown in the survey, explain in detail the exact cost of operation in the 2014-15 financial year, as well as attendance figures and the average cost to shire per attendance.

In terms of patronage, Violet Town dominated pool season, with over 14,000 admitted. Euroa followed suit with over 11,000 with Avenel (3840) and Nagambie (2408) behind.

As a result of high admittance, it costs the shire $4.29 per visit for Violet Town and $9.17 for Euroa, while Avenel was $14.34 and Nagambie $17.64.

After reading these statistics, residents will be asked to choose one of five options, or submit one of their own:

• No change to pools

• Close pools with the lowest patronage, and for the pools left open, fund a new levy of less than $40 per assessment which will be paid by the relevant ward ratepayers.

• All ratepayers fund a new levy of $40 per assessment and all pools stay open

• Close all the pools and investigate the development of a new aquatic centre

• Investigate options to lower operating costs (i.e. less pool opening hours and/or increasing entrance fees for our pools)

Residents will also be asked to rate the pools in terms of priority against other services such as road upgrades, footpaths, infrastructure and emergency management.

Mayor Deb Swan said if we valued our pools, we all needed to look for ways to make them more viable.

"Some towns have active ‘Friends of the Pools’ who work on ways to increase patronage or maybe it’s about training volunteer lifesavers," she said.

"This is a real opportunity to have your say and work together on the things we want for our towns so please take the time to share your ideas."

All feedback and ideas received will be used to develop an Aquatic Strategy that is representative of our communities.

The closing date of the survey will be Friday, January 8, 2016, allowing council to compile a report on the results released after the first council meeting in February.



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