The WCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/12 was out for public consultation recently. In these tight financial times the plan was generally about maintaining affordable rates through prioritising spending and reducing costs by $6 million, through reducing some services, improving the efficiency of other services and deferring non-urgent work. Although it’s not all cost cutting, there is an allowance to spend $650,000 on a feasibility study for a new deep-water pool in Kilbirnie.
We’re proposing to spend $650,000 in 2011/2012 on feasibility work for the construction of a deep water pool at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre. Early cost estimates for the additional deep water pool complex is $13 million and a further $5.9 million is estimated for a car parking facility, likely to be needed for resource consent requirements.
The feasibility work will consider location on site and linkage with existing facilities, potential resource consent issues with a particular focus on vehicle access and carparking and deliver detailed designs and structural plans, a detailed traffic assessment, electrical and mechanical services for the facility will be surveyed and designed and initial landscape designs will be completed. Most of the problems, whether they be building or environmentally related will be known at this stage and accounted for, while the plans at this stage would not be sufficient to build from, there will be a high degree of certainty in terms of project costs.
– WCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/12, p69
This allocation of $650,000 seems like a lot of money for a feasibility study, especially when a free reading of the Draft Annual Plan reveals that a new deep water pool complex and car parking in Kilbirnie is likely to cost $19 million. What is proposed seems far more detailed than a simple feasibility study – it sounds more like a set of tender documents.
So just what is this deep water pool complex? How deep is a deep water pool? Is it a dedicated diving pool? Or is it a big pool with swimming lanes? Is it just one pool? Two pools? Three pools? And how many car parks do you get for $6 million, or the equivalent of about half a deep water pool complex?