Bid to heat cool pool

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Icy cold: Arrowtown's outdoor pool

Arrowtowners are calling for an upgrade of their run-down, cool pool.

And the historic town’s councillor, Scott Stevens, reckons they’ll get it – he’s just not sure when.

VIDEO: POOL TOO COOL

Arrowtown swim club president and coach, Debbie McLeod, says the chilly temperature in the outdoor pool means she’s having to spend valuable teaching time trying to convince cold kids, in wetsuits, to stay in the pool.

“It’s a great pool, and it’s deeper so kids can learn to dive and jump in, it is really good … it’s just not keeping its temperature.”

The pool only stayed open for about three months this summer.

But McLeod says a lot of kids in the 48-member club stopped turning up because “they just turn blue”.

She reckons with some renovations and a good heat pump lots more kids would swim in it.

“We’re not trying to be the Events Centre, we’re just a community organisation for the kids to learn to swim in colder water.”

The pool, beside Arrowtown’s fire station on Hertford Street, has a leaky heating system that just doesn’t cut it.

Broken covers, scruffy landscape, cold showers, water temperatures between 17 and 19 degrees and stubbed toes has become the norm for Arrowtown pool-goers. Stevens says the pool has been on his radar for many years – and putting a sticking plaster on the current pool isn’t going to be enough.

He was disappointed it wasn’t backed by other councillors last year when it was submitted as part of the annual plan.

He’s been in touch with the club and is supporting them to re-submit this year in hopes the council might take action.

“They’re not just putting their hand out to council, they’re prepared to get involved with getting it fixed themselves, fundraising, putting people on the end of paint brushes, planting, landscaping, work on the toilets.

“I would say, and here I am sort of rolling the political dice, it’s a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ the Arrowtown pool will get a heating upgrade.”

He reckons the club and community need to come up with a plan for the pool over a 10-year term so upgrades are ongoing.

Stevens’ priorities are clear – it’s a council-run pool so the support from the council is “absolute”.

“We’re not looking to let it fall by the wayside any time soon.”

Council media man Jimmy Sygrove says City Hall looked into extra heating for the pool but decided not to pay for it in the next financial year.

He says it’s “working with the community” to discuss funding and gauge demand for the town’s facilities.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz