Lifeline for Blue Mountains pools
Blue Mountains residents may have been thrown a lifeline, with council agreeing to review additional technical reports and undertake further consultation before determining the future of toddler and leisure pools located in Blackheath.
As reported in October last year, council proposed closure of Katoomba’s 50 m pool facility as it is struggling to meet ongoing maintenance demands. Blackheath’s smaller pools look doomed to a similar fate.
Pool supporters came out in full at a council meeting held last week, according to the Blue Mountains Gazette, with many speakers from the Friends of the Blackheath Pool and Memorial Park group specifically asking councillors to consider an alternative engineer’s report which the group said offered “practical, cost-efficient solutions”.
The article says the council has been relying on a 2013 structural report that deemed the life of the leisure pool to be somewhere between five and seven years, as it was built on an inadequate support of rock, clay and deep fill. The report suggested that the pool would “settle differentially over its remaining life”. An independent engineer reviewed the document at the behest of the group and determined that a lack of monitoring in the intervening years made it impossible to know if that settling had actually occured.
The Friends group has suggested implementation of a monitoring program to ascertain the facts.
Various amendments were raised at the meeting, including one which would guarantee the retention of all three pools in question. This was defeated, but an amendment that will have council continue investigations on options to extend the life of the facilities was passed. A report on this will be brought back to council by September.
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