CITY of Greater Bendigo staff want to permanently close the Long Gully and Golden Square swimming pools.
Councillors will vote on the closure tomorrow night, with a report noting the pools were expensive, outdated and barely used.
City of Greater Bendigo director community wellbeing Pauline Gordon said it would be sad to see the pools close.
“I think any closure heralds the end of an era,” she said.
“It’s important to acknowledge it’s part of our culture.
“But hardly anyone uses the pool at Long Gully.
“The pool is bad... and the cost to get it going is huge.”
The report noted there were 13 public pools in the City of Greater Bendigo, the highest number in Victoria.
It said the Golden Square pool was 2.8 kilometres from the Bendigo Aquatic Centre and council’s acting manager recreation Lincoln Fitzgerald said the Long Gully pool was even closer.
The council allocated $80,000 to run both pools over summer, but tenders were “far in excess” of the budget estimates.
The report showed repairing the pools could cost up to $7 million if they were kept for 10 to 25 years and said the cost of running the facilities was rising.
“We struggled with those pools last summer,” Ms Gordon said.
“We can get other pools operating to a good standard if we could close these this year.”
Ms Gordon said closing the facilities could push forward the construction of the Kangaroo Flat pool and water splash park in Long Gully.
Both pools are closed during winter.
Council’s acting manager of healthy communities Patrick Jess said local community groups consulted by the council were happy with alternative arrangements.
“Australia-wide, the cost of pools is rising,” he said.
“Water bills can vary, going up $10,000 to $15,000 a year.
“You think you’ve fixed a leak and another one pops up.”
Ms Gordon said both pools were owned by the state government and said the community would be consulted on future site uses if the pools closed.