Swim club drowns in council fees
IN AN effort to fill its multi-million dollar financial black hole, Lismore City Council is looking at hiking up the price for a swimming club to use the local pool.
But the Lismore Workers Swim Team who have called the Lismore Memorial Baths home since 1928, said council's plan to slug them $14,000 on top of the $20,000 they claim they already pay, could spell their demise.
LWST head coach Peter Harvey, 46, said he was devastated.
"Council did not even tell us this was once again on the meeting agenda," he said.
According to the agenda for tonight's meeting, the draft revised delivery program 2017/2021 and operational plan 2019/20 highlighted a range of recommended changes to the budget and fees and charges - including a $14,000 increase of fees for the LWST.
But Mr Harvey said it did not make sense.
"We bring council nearly $20,000 in the five months we swim at the pool just by being here," he said.
"Every single one of our 53 swimming members still has to pay to swim, we pay what the public does. It's an exorbitant amount for half a season, we are only here five months a year."
Mr Harvey said the club was rich in talent, not money.
"We rely on donations and substantial fundraising to make ends meet," he said.
However, Mr Harvey said council's loss could be Southern Cross University's gain.
"We use their pool for winter training," he said.
Deputy mayor Elly Bird defended the decision.
"Considering council's financial position, everything has to be on the table," she said.