THE Colac Otway Shire has taken the plunge towards an indoor heated pool in Apollo Bay, deciding to commit $200,000 each year towards the proposal.
The commitment came at the shire’s March meeting (held in Apollo Bay) and responded to a business case put forward by the Apollo Bay Aquatic Centre Committee.
Under the committee’s proposal, the existing outdoor pool would be enclosed and heated to provide year-round swimming opportunities to the coastal community.
Shire mayor Joe McCracken said the council’s commitment to contribute to the ongoing operational costs gave the committee more certainty to move forward with their plans for the pool.
“The community has so far raised more than $250,000 to go towards the capital cost of enclosing the current pool, which is part of the Apollo Bay P-12 College.
“I’d like to acknowledge the work of the volunteer committee, in particular Jane Gross, who has been a steadfast campaigner for an indoor heated pool in Apollo Bay for the better part of 20 years.
“Council agreed to make an annual contribution of $200,000 towards the ongoing costs of running the pool, with the operations to be overseen by the school in partnership with the committee.
“This contribution is subject to the committee securing the capital funding required to complete the enclosure of the pool.
“This is a significant step forward for the Apollo Bay community, which has been striving to achieve an indoor pool facility since 2000.
Cr McCracken said the council was pleased to be able to give some surety to Apollo Bay people about the future of an indoor pool for the town.
“Having year-round indoor swimming opportunities will benefit people of all ages from young people learning how to swim, to older adults looking for non-impact opportunities to exercise.”
The $200,000 will be made available once the pool is enclosed and fully operational, and is conditional on the pool being available to the community for a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Under the resolution adopted by the council, the school and pool committee will report back annually on the pool’s operation.