Swimming pool plans negotiated

Albury pool.

Albury pool.

ALBURY Aquatic Management will retain the operation of the Albury and Lavington pools for the next four summers after revised contract arrangements were crunched with Albury Council.

The council’s community and culture committee last night recommended the revised contract.

It involves the council back-tracking on an original intention not to pay for consumables such as gas, electricity and chemicals.

Last month the council rejected two tenders received for the management of the pools.

Council general manager Frank Zaknich was authorised to negotiate with operators, Albury Aquatic Management, whose tender was $720,000 over the council’s budgeted figure, but under the other bidder, YMCA.

Consumables are estimated to cost almost $1.5 million over the four years and the council has also agreed to be responsible for maintenance of pool cleaners.

Another change to the previous contract is the council receiving a management fee of $100,000 over four years from Albury Aquatic Management, instead of the council paying a management fee to the operators of $1.76 million.

A report presented to the committee last night said the original tender would have resulted in an additional cost to the council of $726,869.

“The new negotiated outcome results in a reduced additional cost to council budget of $251,757, an improvement over the original tender outcome of $475,112 over the four years,” the report said.

It was also agreed during negotiations there be a focus on increasing patronage at the two pools, relationship building with user groups and a commitment to event attraction and co-ordination.

The previous report presented to the council highlighted Albury’s pool patronage last season fell 15 per cent and the drop was even bigger at Lavington (35 per cent) on the 10-year average.

Patronage income on present figures will mean a loss of $520,000 in the next four years.

The option of reducing the Lavington season by one week in October and one week in March is still to be confirmed.