Albury pool tender to be for an extra year

THE contract to operate the Albury and Lavington pools has been extended from three to four years.

Albury Council will decide on the successful operator at its May meeting, selecting from two interested parties, including present operators Albury Aquatic Management, led by Paul Tanner and Lawrie McInnes.

In 2011, Albury Aquatic Management replaced the Mamouney family, who had managed the Albury pool since 1986 and Lavington Swim Centre since 2000.

The number of tenders submitted to operate the pools has fallen from five to two from an initial search carried out three years ago.

The council originally selected Corwade in 2011 before it withdrew two days later.

Albury Aquatic Management was awarded the contract at an extraordinary council meeting called following the re-advertising of tenders for 21 days.

The YMCA was one of two applicants which did not submit tenders in the second round.

It operates the WAVES complex and Sports and Leisure Centre in Wodonga.

During the next lease period the council is expected to firm up a position on future pool requirements in Albury.

It will spend $45,000 employing a consultant to come up with a new aquatics strategy with no funding commitments for major upgrades at Albury or Lavington pools planned in the next four years.

The strategy will focus on the viability of an indoor pool, the impact of WAVES in the year since it opened, a proposed riverside tourist precinct near the Albury pool, the impact of private commercial pools and potential funding sources.

The aquatics facilities advisory committee chaired by former mayor Patricia Gould will take a lead role.

Options previously considered include an indoor aquatics facility at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre, replacement or closure of the Lavington pool and a $40 million joint aquatics centre with Wodonga Council on Gateway Island.

There are no immediate structural issues facing the Lavington pool, but a technical report compiled on the facility recommended the removal of the diving platforms.

The Albury pool closed last Thursday after the Lavington facility shut a month ago.

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