THE long-running stoush to prevent any introduction of lane hire fees for Albury-Wodonga swimmers and water polo players could be about to end.
A proposed incentive-based licence fee model, which has been thrashed out in peace talks between the Ovens and Murray Aquatics Action Group, Albury and Wodonga councils and pool operators, Aligned Leisure, will be presented to Albury Council for endorsement next week and likely implementation on July 1.
Central to the licence fee model is a sliding fee structure based on the number of swimming and water polo participants who take out an Albury-Wodonga Aquatics Facilities membership.
The aquatics action group has confirmed it had 758 participants across the two sports in the 2018-19 season, but research conducted by Aligned Leisure indicates only 389 out of the 758 participants took out a seasonal pool membership last season.
"The more swimming and water polo members there are of the outdoor pools, the lower the licence fee will be per month with the targets set very realistically based on current participation rates," Albury Council's leisure facilities team leader Michael Stanton said in a report to council.
"Any applicable licence fees will be calculated on a monthly basis, based on total membership numbers at the time and the lower rates for off-peak months still apply."
Under the best case scenario as part of the proposed incentive-based model there would be no licence fee charge if there were 601-plus memberships sold.
But based on the 2018-19 membership take-up of 389 participants there would be a charge of $102,090.91 to user groups or $134.68 per participant.
Aquatics action group spokesman Stuart Baker said talks to date had been promising.
"We are making progress, but we are not over the line yet," he said.
"We're not going to go down the line where clubs and associations can't be sustainable.
"Once talks started it is has been a worthwhile exercise."
Previous managers didn't charge them unbeknownst to the replacement operator.
Meanwhile, the council will consider its next step in the fallout from the collapse of the Lavington Sportsground contractor Depan Group in another confidential session.
It will be provided with a report regarding the total amount outstanding to sub-contractors and also include opportunities and risks of payment to sub-contractors both during and after the liquidation of Depan Group.