Baths manager given year to sink or swim
By NERIDA BLOK
IAIN JONES has just walked the Kokoda Trail.
His next challenge will be proving his management skills in running Lismore's redeveloped $9.6 million swimming complex.
On Tuesday Lismore City Councillors gave the former baths manager a 12-month trial period to iron out any teething problems before deciding whether to go to public tender.
"My goal is to re-establish Lismore Memorial Baths as the best swimming venue on the Far North Coast," Mr Jones said.
He said he was excited by the opportunity and was looking forward to increasing pool usage through improved services when the pool reopens in September.
"We want as many bods in the pool as possible," he said.
Councillors voted 10-1 to accept the pool management plan by council staff, which included fees, charges and hours of operation.
Under the plan adults will pay a $3 entry fee.
Cr Frank Swientek said he rejected the plan because of his trepidations over the operational and servicing costs of the pool.
"I'm concerned for its long-term financial impact on Lis- more ratepayers," he said. "And I wouldn't feel comfortable supporting something that wasn't thought out from the start."
Mayor Merv King said pools were a community facility and would never fully pay for themselves.
"There will always be a cost to ratepayers" he said. "I'm very proud of it and I'll go to my grave thinking it was a great thing for this community."