CRONULLA'S four ocean rock pools are here to stay as far as Sutherland Shire Council is concerned.
While down the coast, Wollongong Council is looking at closing three of its nine tidal pools because of the financial drain of maintaining them, no such thoughts are being entertained in the shire.
"Council is not considering closing any of the [Cronulla] pools," a Sutherland Shire Council spokeswoman said.
The Wollongong proposal was among measures recommended last month by a community panel tasked with coming up with cost-cutting ideas to secure the long-term finances of the council.
Not surprisingly, some residents were not happy with the idea and public submissions are being examined.
Sutherland Shire Council's spokeswoman said the cost of maintaining pools at Shelly and Oak parks, as well as the smaller pool at Cronulla, were "minimal, as they are subject to tidal flushing, which keeps them clear of weed and sand".
"Council spends between $5000 to $10,000 each year on pre-season preparation, which primarily involves removal of oysters and marine growth," she said.
"Slightly more was spent this year to repair leaks in the Shelly and Oak park pools."
The spokeswoman said the larger pool at Cronulla was more costly to maintain.
"This pool is susceptible to occasionally filling with sand, depending on prevailing swells and conditions," she said.
"When this occurs, it has to be emptied and the sand removed.
"Council spends approximately $25,000 annually on this pool and this year spent another $6000 covering the steps into the pool with a recycled plastic product to improve safety."
The spokeswoman said the regular maintenance on all pools included the removal of oyster and algal growth and repairs to chains, pool walls and steps as needed.
A report on the large pool at Cronulla, which was closed for a week at the end of last month after it filled with sand and seaweed, is being prepared by council officers.
A spokeswoman said the report was ‘‘expected to make several recommendations for mitigating the sand ingress and other suggestions for improvements to the pool’’.
The spokeswoman said the pools at Shelly and Oak parks, and the small pool at Cronulla, were in good structural condition.
‘‘Several studies over the years have failed to locate major leaks,’’ she said.
‘‘However, a leak in the Oak Park pool at low tide has been identified, which is thought to be through the sandy base of the pool.
‘‘It would not be possible to stop this leak without major reconstruction.’’
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