The future of the Wingham Memorial Swimming Pool is uncertain, following recommendations to MidCoast Council on the management and viability of seven public swimming pools in the local government area.
"The Wingham pool is in poor condition. The filtration system requires $1 million of investment. The pool leaks at the expansion joint where the pool was extended, and through the gutters which are experiencing concrete cancer," MidCoast Council says.
For now, council is maintaining the pool "as best they can" but it is running at a loss, and council says there will come a time where the pool has reached its lifespan and will need a total rebuild.
The cost to rebuild the Wingham Swimming Pool is $5 million, council says. Funding options from both federal and state governments.are being researched.
Changes earmarked for the pool are opening hours, and a change of management - council says the pool will be "contracted by a small operator" (for example, a community group), with an option for it to be included in the same contract with Taree and Great Lakes Aquatic Centres.
Members of the Wingham Swim Club met on Tuesday night, November 14 to discuss forming a community-run committee if MidCoast Council and the contractor do not "continue to manage and maintain the pool in its current form".
The meeting was also to talk about the outcome of a recent MidCoast Council Community Conversation in Wingham where the pool was a topic of discussion.
"(That) meeting at the town hall that was so well received by the Wingham and surrounds community," said Wingham Swim Club member, Karen Howell.
"It was so wonderful to see such passion in the community at this meeting, wanting the pool to be kept open and operating for the community and, more importantly, for the generations to come.
"We know swimming pools are important community facilities, especially in inland areas like Wingham, not only as a place for communities to come together but for the benefits of teaching generations important water safety and learning to swim.
"Also, local pools provide a much needed place for rehabilitation and respite in many facets of health and mental well being."
Karen hopes that as many community members as possible come to the MidCoast Council pop-up meeting at Wingham Memorial Swimming Pool on Thursday, December 7, 4pm to 6pm.
"I will most certainly be advocating many of the community to come and let council be aware of the big community push in keeping our wonderful Wingham pool open, now and for years to come," Karen said.
If you can't make it to the meeting, you can have your say on the future of the pool at haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/swimming-pool-operations-review/wingham-pool.
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