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Nigel WardWhile the arguments surrounding the proposed Waiuku Sports Park development have been underway in recent weeks, one point I found interesting has been comments from Local Board members regarding targeted rates for amenities.
At the monthly clinic meeting at the Waiuku Community Hall on Friday afternoon, the subject again got an airing over questions about a new pool for Waiuku.
The pool issue has been on and off the council agenda for many years, with suggestions during the days of Franklin District Council that the town would have a new pool by 2020.
It’s not going to happen.
For a while, it looked as though a new pool to be built at Sandspit Road School might offer some more swimming time to the community, but that project has since also been shelved.
Now there are questions over what funding may be available to upgrade and maintain the Whiteside Pool, with audience members on Friday told to hang off and see what the new management company might come up with when it takes over the facility management in a few weeks.
But amid all of this is the point that under the Supercity, Waiuku (or in fact any township in Franklin) can pretty much have anything it wants – if it is willing to pay for it.
The mechanisms are there for a targeted rate to be put in place for a pool project, subject to the residents voting for it.
There’s not often a rush to ask for higher rates, but in this case it is a prime opportunity for supporters of a new pool to put it to the public. What is needed is some clear figures.
For an extra $100 a year on our rates, could we get an indoor pool? Could we get a covered, year-round pool at Whiteside?
Let’s not forget that it’s not just a Waiuku issue – complicating the situation is that many of the people who would use the pool live outside the Auckland area – in Otaua, Aka Aka and the north Waikato. But ultimately it comes down to a simple question.
What would you, as a household, be willing to pay to have year-round, covered and heated, swimming in Waiuku?
Worth spending the money?

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