A $50 million regional indoor pool facility incorporated into Lauren Jackson Sports Centre has been delivered a fatal blow on Monday night.
Albury Council's community and cultural committee has recommended the long-running aquatics strategy be ripped up and focus directed to retaining the Albury and Lavington outdoor pools with the latter to be potentially replaced in 2021-22.
The bombshell move was passed 5-2 with only Cr Alice Glachan and Cr Graham Docksey voting against the recommendation which will be presented for endorsement to what could be a fiery council meeting next week.
Former mayor and head of the lobby group fighting for an all-round facility, Stuart Baker, slammed the committee's decision.
"I can't see any leadership being displayed whatsoever," he said.
"Unless you've got something on the table you haven't got anything to go and source funding for."
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn, Cr John Stuchbery, Cr van de Ven and Cr David Thurley all conceded the likelihood of securing $15 million from the federal and state governments for the indoor pool was remote.
The net capital cost of maintaining the existing pools was $20 million cheaper than building the indoor facility which would come at the expense of the Lavington pool.
"The cost of the proposed Lauren Jackson aquatics facility is prohibitive," Cr Cohn said.
"The community has also clearly communicated they will not tolerate the closing of the Lavington swim centre."
Cr Thurley said the $15 million external funding target was well short of his expectations.
"We have to work much harder at external funding before I could re-consider the matter," he said.
Cr Docksey said he supported the indoor facility, but not at the expense of Lavington and doubted any discussions with Wodonga Council about jointly building a regional facility would be successful.
"Those days are gone," he said.