Submission to Hurunui Council


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Amberley Community Pool Society Inc.
Submission to: Draft Hurunui Long-Term Plan 2015 – 2025
To: Hurunui District Council
From: Amberley Community Pool Society Incorporated.

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The Amberley Community Pool Society Inc. would like to sincerely thank the Hurunui District Council for the opportunity to submit to the draft Long term Plan 2015 – 2025.
Along with this written submission, we would appreciate the opportunity to also make a verbal submission in person.

Background

The Amberley pool was built in 1927.
Over the last 88 years the pool has helped many generations of people within the wider Hurunui community; learn to swim, gain confidence in the water, stay fit and healthy and even go on to become competitive swimmers.
In 2008, 2011 and 2012 the Hurunui Council received various engineer’s reports stating that a number of components of the pool won’t last much longer (1-5 years) e.g. the filtration / disinfection system. The problem is that if something fails and needs replacing… this will trigger a domino effect and mean that the whole pool complex will need to comply with current standards and the current building code. The various reports also indicated that it isn’t practical or cost effective to just repair or replace individual components of the pool as they break down – given that all the other components of the pool are also at the end of their useable life!

Why should we save our pool?

  1. Community
    The Hurunui is the 2nd fastest growing community in New Zealand
    Our district is growing at more than twice the overall New Zealand growth rate (2006 to 2013 the Hurunui grew by 11.45% vs. 5.3% for NZ for the same period)
    Our pool is a focal point within the Amberley and Hurunui community
    A visit to the local pool is a fantastic low cost individual / family activity
  2. Learn to Swim
    Learning to swim is a critical life skill that literally ‘saves lives’. 41 people in New Zealand have drowned over the past 12 months to 20th of April 2015 vs. 36 for the previous 12 months. Our pool’s safe and controlled swimming environment has the potential to build people’s confidence in the water and literally save lives.
  3. Health
    The elderly, young and others in our community all benefit from being able to exercise in our pool because of its safe, supervised environment and low impact characteristics,
  4. Schools
    Nearly all our schools include swimming as part of their curriculum
    Over time, schools will potentially find that the cost of compliance to run their own pools will become too onerous
    It is envisaged that schools will also have to replace or upgrade their aging school pool assets. The capital cost of this will be considerable
    An indoor heated pool in Amberley, would serve many Hurunui District schools well, both now and in the future.
  5. Sport
    Swimming is an excellent form of training for numerous other sports.
  6. Competition Swimming
    There is currently no 25 metre competition swimming pool in North Canterbury
    If we lose our pool, there will be no swimming pool in Amberley suitable for competitions
    To illustrate how the Amberley Pool serves the wider Hurunui District, a recent swim champs held at the current Amberley Pool had 108 representatives from the district and only 40 of these were from Amberley. This highlights the fact that 68 people were from other areas in the district.

Amberley Community Pool Society Inc.

In recent years the Amberley pool has been taken off the council’s long-term plan and annual plan. This means that there has previously been no provision or budget to do anything about the pool.
Unfortunately, if we just do nothing… our community will lose our pool!
The Amberley Community Pool Society Inc. has been incorporated to “Save Our Pool”. When our society was incorporated we agreed that in order to achieve our goal, we needed to do the following:

  1. Put together a design for a new pool along with a capital and operating budget to put to the Hurunui District Council. This task has been completed and these plans and budgets have been submitted to the council.
    This work was completed in conjunction with Apollo Projects Limited. Apollo has specialist expertise in both the design and building of community pool facilities that are ‘fit for purpose’ and operationally efficient. We would like to acknowledge the Amberley Ward for their support with this initiative.
  2. Get our pool back onto the Hurunui District Council’s long-term and annual plan. Unfortunately, unless the Hurunui District Council includes the pool in their plans, we are unable make serious progress with fundraising as any potential funder would like to see a design and firm plan for the project. They would obviously like to see the pools owner, the Hurunui District Council show considerable commitment i.e. funding. To date, we have raised in excess of $20k.
  3. Fundraise through targeting national and local funding agencies and groups such as Lotteries Commission, corporates, Hurunui District associated businesses and Hurunui District associated families and individuals. Considerable progress can be made once there is a vision / concept to sell and commitment from the pools owner (Hurunui District Council).

District Wide Asset

An indoor heated pool will be a community facility that draws and attracts users from the wider Hurunui district. Many people in the district are already travelling (at considerable cost – fuel etc) to other North Canterbury towns such as Rangiora and Kaiapoi, whose pools are already nearing capacity in terms of users.

Funding Model

Our group would like propose that:

  1. The council fund $3.5m of the $4.5m cost (which we believe by 2018/19 will be closer to $5.5m). This should increase proportionally, in line with the construction costs as it increases and exceeds $4.5m. We propose that the community be asked to fundraise $1m
  2. Change the current targeted rating proposal. We would like to see an increase in the targeted rate for the Amberley Ward
  3. We propose a larger district wide rate increase associated with the pool. We propose a ripple like approach, which means rates decrease as households get further away from Amberley
  4. We believe people living in Amberley and the Hurunui District are prepared to pay more via their rates vs. having to fork out money via local pool fundraising initiatives. We believe this means that other local community groups will not be disadvantaged through competing (with the $2m needed for the pool) for local family and individual fundraising dollars.

Time-Line

In the Long-term plan the capital cost of $4.5m is quoted in 2018/19. It is important to point out this was the quoted price we received in 2014 for a 2015 build.
Currently, construction costs in Canterbury are rising by 1.2% per month (sourced: Apollo Projects Limited, dated, 15/04/15). This is consistent with data from Westpac Banks Economic Update on the 9th of April 2015. This report confirmed that since the 2011 earthquake, construction costs in Canterbury have increased by 36%. This trend is set to continue for many years to come. This could mean that the pool could cost in excess of $5.5 million by 2018/19.

For the above reason and the fact our current pool could literally breakdown at any stage, our group would like to propose that the construction of the pool is undertaken as soon as possible. This could potentially save well over $300k.

Summary

  1. It is fantastic that the council have recognised that the pool is an absolutely vital community asset for the Hurunui District. We are delighted to see it included in the councils’ Long-Term Plan.
  2. Our Group is 100% committed to working constructively with the council to ensure that a new pool complex is built
  3. We believe that more funds should be raised via targeted and district rates and people in our community should be tasked with coming up with $1m from fundraising
  4. The construction of our pool should be undertaken no later than 2017/18 to save costs and ensure that our community isn’t without a pool, once our current pool eventually breaks down.