35 days ago

Mayoral comments on Motueka Pool

Sue from Motueka

We put the following question to each of the candidates and here are their replies : "Do you support the Motueka Community Swimming pool and how will you work to get TDC funding to assist with Building and Operating Costs along with longer term management of the facility?"

Tim King -

“I was surprised to be asked at the meeting about the pool as it hasn’t come in front of Council over the last three years.

I am supportive of the MCSP project and remain open minded about how Council may be able to support its development although it is important to point out how challenging its going to be to fund the many community requests around the region, in fact it isn’t possible too, so I’m in no position to guarantee any specific funding.

I will be interested to see more detail on both the capital funding requirements and particularly the operational shortfall as this is often the more difficult part to fund.

I look forward to catching up with those behind the proposal if I am elected in October to discuss what council’s role may be in the future.

Thanks for the opportunity to explain my position.

"I have been on the Wakefield pool committee for 20 years and as you’ve noted we covered and run a community pool in conjunction with the school so I am aware of the opportunity and the challenges of a similar project albeit on a smaller scale. The latest project is to run the heating via solar energy so quite interesting."

Maxwell Clark -

" As I spoke at the Motueka Meeting on 21/08/2019. I fully support your Motueka Community Swimming Pool project. What does impress me is your group willingness to contribute $220,000 towards the project.

As Mayor , I would fully support the pool. I would also support your funding application to Council ‘s Community Grants Subcommittee.

Dean McNamara -

"I would be happy to look at the proposal. However, it will have to compete with funding with all the other projects in the plan and to be honest, the current team have absolutely cleaned out the coffers to build their dam-at-any-cost.

But I am always on board with community projects that can leverage other funding opportunities."

Brent Maru -

"In terms of my personal support for the Pool, yes I believe that not only does the population of Motueka deserve a pool but your fundraising efforts to date also show that Motueka is willing to pay for a pool, or at least a high percentage of the community. I too spent many years involved in the quest to get a pool for Motueka and the original Motueka Recreation Centre plans in 1986 actually included one as stage two of this development, 33yrs ago. I am a little conflicted on the model being currently proposed in that initially it is not delivering the original concept of an all year round facility, but understand the cost restraints and applaud your efforts to keep this project affordable. You will also know that as a member of the MHS BoT we too have supported your endeavors and navigated our world to be able to provide a license to occupy arrangement.

The decision of the pool committee to complete the project without any Council funding was your original intention and having been party to discussions with your committee and the Rata Foundation in particular I know that they are hesitant to invest without Council as a partner. That being said it is my understanding that this concern was more around ongoing opex rather than capex. I am also aware that you are working with Lani and David and seeking a peer review of the operational model and costs with CLM and would be interested in that outcome.

From a Community Board perspective, easy, I support the pool and as Chair of the Board I have already provided a letter of support stating that.

As a Mayoral Candidate whilst I support a pool being built in Motueka, I can not commit to any financial capital contribution, this will like all projects need to go through the LTP and is up against all of the capital works request. Operationally if Lani can find budget within existing budgets to satisfy funders that works, otherwise again a request for either an increase to the existing community facilities rate or a new Motueka Swimming Pool targeted rate would be required. I am hearing every where I go a concern over the level of debt and the cost of rates. The only way to address this is to reduce spending, or secure increased central government investment or explore private / public partnerships. Considering the financial burden that the Waimea Dam adds the new Council has some major challenges financially and if we are not to increase the current debt cap of $200mil or raise rates greater than 3%, then we have little choice but to tighten the belt.

The other issue I need to disclose, which is likely to be the same for Barry is that I currently have a conflict of interest in that I am again the Chair of Motueka High School BoT's, therefore will unlikely be able to partake in the vote for any development on the school property. I guess I mention this as it would be easy to say Yes, Yes and then on the day declare a conflict of interest, but I am providing a honest response to where I sit on your question.

As Mayor, I will have an open door and happy to assist where I can, be that in leveraging potential funders, speaking of the benefits of physical activity including swimming, but I give no commitment for guaranteeing any funding for this project beyond the normal long-term planning process. I continue to wish you well with the community pool project and the legacy you are wanting to create for Motueka and would appreciate that if quoting me publicly re my response that you do include the full content of my reply."

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