A revised budget of $1.8 million has been set for the repair of Mittagong Pool.
Councillors appointed a contractor to the repair project at the July 26 council meeting, but the project is still without a time frame.
Icon Building Group was announced as the chosen contractor after council considered a report that evaluated tenders submitted for the repair work.
The cost of the repair, a total of $1,197,600, excludes the finished surfaces of the pools. As such, council confirmed the revised budget of $1.8 million including contingencies.
The decision was made despite Highlands resident Jonathan Hatcher, a past president of the Southern Highlands Water Polo Association, calling on councillors to wait until a pool strategy had been locked in for the whole shire.
“I’d propose that until we have a cohesive pool strategy, we shouldn’t be spending another $1.7 million on Mittagong pool to end up with exactly the same amenity we’ve had for the last 20 years. We’re losing huge amounts of money every year and we need to find a better solution,” he said.
“We shouldn’t do anything until we have a better plan.”
The pool remains closed after extensive damaged caused by an East Coast Low storm event in June 2016.
Mayor Ken Halstead said the entire base of the Learn to Swim Pool had sustained severe structural damage.
“Another major challenge with the pool is that it was essentially built on the bed of the Nattai River by our forefathers 86 years ago,” Cr Halstead said.
As part of the repair project, the floors of the 50-metre pool and the Learn to Swim pool will be replaced, repairs will be completed on tiling, guttering and entry and exit ladders, and a barrier will be added between the Learn to Swim pool and water toys.
A council statement said repair works would begin in coming weeks, but no dates were set for the project’s start, or the re-opening of the facility.
However, a council spokesman previously told the Southern Highland News works would likely begin in August.
Cr Halstead said the decision reaffirmed council’s position to move forward and repair the pool as soon as practical, and provide northern villages residents with peace of mind.
He said he had no concerns about the location of the pool in an area prone to flooding.
“Our priority one is Mittagong Pool. We’re putting in a structure to ensure the damage won’t reoccur,” he said. “As a qualified civil engineer involved in construction of things like weirs, I know how things can be done to ensure there are no issues.”
He said council’s decision to appoint a contractor was testimony to the importance placed on the historic landmark.