THE soap opera over lane hire fees at Albury and Wodonga municipal pools is turning into a medley relay with so many tumble turns and changes of strokes it's hard to keep up.
The latest leg has seen Albury Council continuing to make a splash about the matter without touching the wall for a conclusive result.
Councillors were given four options on Monday night to consider in response to the fierce backlash from swimmers and water polo players upset at lane hire fees being applied.
They involved having no lane fees, full commercial lane hire, a subsidised lane hire rate or a licence model.
It was recommended council adopt the licence model on the basis it was consistent with other fee structures that apply to council sporting sites such as parks.
Based on the previous unwillingness of pool users to entertain lane hire fees, it is doubtful the parties will be able to reach a deal to match the harmony of synchronised swimmers.
Yet there have been bigger surprises, like Kieren Perkins winning gold in the 1500 metres at the Atlanta Olympics.
Albury is not the only the city in the deep end looking for a life buoy on this issue.
As councillor Darren Cameron noted with a typical colourful turn of phrase, Wodonga Council needs to address what happens with its swimmers who are exposed across winter and summer seasons to potential lane fees.
"(Wodonga) have hoisted themselves up like a papal conclave and refused to emerge and talk from their ivory tower with their own ratepayers," Cr Cameron told Monday night's council meeting.
Reflecting that sentiment, Wodonga Council pulled its metaphorical swimming cap down and did not respond to The Border Mail for a comment on that jibe.
For the good of all parties and concerned ratepayers there needs to be an end to this Australian crawl.