In 2014 a joint council and community taskforce investigated the costs of building an aquatic and health centre in Torquay. It found a 25 metre indoor pool with gym and allied health facilities would be the most financially viable option. It would cost $29m to build and up to $1m a year to run.
Council is now testing the water to see if ratepayers are willing to contribute extra to pay for a new centre to be built. Council would need to take out a loan to build the facility. If the community agrees this would mean a special charge between $20 and $150 per year would be added to rates bills each year for 20 years by which time the loan would be repaid. The special charge would be set according to ratepayers’ proximity to the new aquatic centre. Grants from State and Federal Governments would be needed to make up the difference.
There would also be ongoing costs to operate and maintain the centre. An additional increase in rates, equating to approximately $50 for the average ratepayer, would be required to cover these costs.
During August an independent research company will contact people to get their views on the proposal. Ratepayers throughout the shire will be surveyed to get a representative sample of our population.
Don’t worry if you are not contacted. You will be able to learn more and comment during September at community forums and online.