THE Bendigo council could spend $80,000 reining in a Kangaroo Flat indoor pool's surging carbon emissions.
The Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre single-handedly doubled the City of Greater Bendigo's emissions footprint during its first full year of operation.
The council would spend tens of thousands of dollars on investigations and modifications to the facility launched in 2018, under spending outlined in the council's newly released draft 2021/22 budget.
Council director of corporate performance Andrew Cooney ruled out solar panels for the moment.
"It's largely about how the centre operates. There's no 'big bang' theory. We are not looking at building anything to begin with," he said.
"It's a wonderful facility and the question is going to be how it can operate in a different way.
"Our modelling shows that even without a significant amount of money we can actually make a really big difference in the cost of operations."
However, Mr Cooney did not rule out the council revisiting technological fixes in the future.
Debate about adding solar panels to the pool's roof has raged since before the pool opened in 2018.
None were added in original plans because they were deemed too heavy for the pool's roof. Solar panel technology has developed since then.
Dealing with Gurri Wanyarra's carbon footprint is part of a slew of environmentally-friendly ideas outlined in the council's draft 2021/22 budget.
One program would switch lightbulbs on major roads to more efficient LEDs.
Another would plant more trees to keep temperatures down on extreme heat days, which are expected to become more common as global warming intensifies.
The trees would be planted in the Hargreaves Mall and through a $200,000 redesign of Brougham Street.
A new median would separate lanes and house trees.
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The council would also roll out a building program designed to keep people walking and riding long after the pandemic subsides.
Mayor Jen Alden said the council had noticed a "significant increase" in people using cycling and walking paths since the start of social distancing restrictions.
"We want this to continue and make sure residents across Greater Bendigo have the option to walk and ride safely around their neighbourhoods," she said.
The council hopes to spend $2 million fixing footpaths and another $1 million building new ones.
It has also set aside $70,000 in its draft budget for six new bus shelters around the municipality.
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