The Inner West Council will spend almost $15 million on local pool upgrades over the next two years under the draft 2022-2023 budget, which council adopted at its meeting last night.
"We have set aside money for a greener, healthier Inner West, for dramatically improved main streets, for better interactions between us and our residents and even more support for our arts and creative industries," said Labor councillor Mark Drury.
"Importantly, this Budget is focused on the continued delivery of valuable local services - maintaining and improving infrastructure and building new facilities for us all to enjoy. That's why we have set aside $243.5 million for local services and $176.3 million for infrastructure,"
Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre will receive the biggest cash splash with $4.3 million being budgeted towards upgrade works in the 2022 financial year, $4 million in the 2023 financial year and $150,000 a year in ongoing funding. The money will go towards delivering council's $15 million master plan for the centre which includes a landscaped water play area with barbecues and a shared recreation space.
The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Marrickville and Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre in Petersham will both be returning to council management in the new financial year after a management agreement with Belgravia Leisure came to an end.
To improve environmental sustainability and energy performance at Annette Kellerman, council plans to spend $1.5 million in 2022 and $3.6 million in 2023 - with $200,000 per year in recurring spending. Fanny Durack will undergo a $1.17 refurbishment in 2022.
Meanwhile, council will continue to pay off the $40 million it borrowed from the NSW Treasury Corporation, TCorp, to redevelop the Ashfield Aquatics Centre in 2019. The loan will be repaid from the income raised by council rates over a 20-year period.
According to budget documents, the pool upgrades are part of the Inner West Council's "commitment to creating healthy, resilient and caring communities".
Other big-ticket capital projects in the budget include the GreenWay, for which council has set aside $11.3 million in the 2022 financial year and $26.3 million in the 2023 financial year. The funding for the GreenWay project is part of the council's "livable and connected neighbourhoods and transport strategic direction", under which other key cycle routes will also be constructed and upgraded.
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