A swimming pool complex may return to Dungarvan, some forty years since the closure of The Lookout outdoor swimming pool in the town.
This comes following a majority vote at last week's Plenary Council meeting in City Hall in support of reinstating such a facility to the region.
Swimming Pool Support
In the first place, local councillor Pat Nugent brought the motion before the sitting councillors, asking for their support in such an endeavour.
Speaking on this, he said: " Since "Water Safety classes have finished in The Park Hotel, through no fault of Water Safety, there has been a noticeable shortage of lifeguards in West Waterford."
He asked councillors to see the value in the potential investment, saying, "not for us, but for our children and grandchildren."
Cllr. Nugent states his belief that the Capital Funding needed for the project can be found through a combination of development levies and borrowing."
The application process under the relevant funding body is to open imminently, with Cllr. Nugent's view that the application may not be furthered for 5-10 years.
The motion was seconded by local councillor Thomas Phelan, who added that the City and County Development Plan includes the provision of such a facility for the region.
Following this Fine Gael councillor, Damien Geoghegan lent his support to the proposed complex, he is requesting that no decision be made at this time pending a viewing of the feasibility study.
A study was commissioned a number of years ago, and the 158 page document has yet to be made available to the public.
Staunch opposition to the motion was made by Cllr. Seamus O'Donnell who addressed the council saying: "Now there was a swimming pool inside in Dungarvan, what happened to it..it was scrapped. It was a perfect, ideal swimming pool, and now they're looking to put in another swimming pool and it's going to cost millions of euros. Where's the money going to come out of? I couldn't support a swimming pool in Dungarvan."
Michael Walsh, CEO of Waterford City and County Council referred to the Capital Funding Plan which was adopted by all councillors several months ago.
Within the plan, there was no provision made for a swimming complex in the Dungarvan region.
Calling the proposal of a swimming pool complex in the area, Mr. Walsh called it a 'net zero game' which he could not support or recommend support of.
"The Capital Funding Plan is going to tighten us to our absolute limit over the next 4-5 years. I could not support an application under the Large Scale Capital Infrastructure Fund in the absence of having provision in the Capital Plan."
Referring to figures around a similar project in Youghal, Co. Cork which cost some €9million in 2009, Mr. Walsh estimated that such a figure today would be in the region of 20-25 million euros.
The Capital Plan will now be reassessed to determine whether provision can be made for what is expected to be a significant expenditure.