TAMWORTH Regional Council says its pools have registered their biggest patronage figures in years with extreme heat forcing many to seek relief.
Council’s mananger of sport and recreation, Paul Kelly, said the combined attendance across the region’s six pools had topped 1500 people on some days.
Mr Kelly had no doubt the intense heat was driving figures up and he assured the community the maintenance woes of last summer shouldn’t make a reappearance this year.
“We go through a fairly intense program each winter to up-keep maintenance,” he said.
“Every now and then we run into a problem that can’t be predicted or wasn’t foreseen, we saw that last year with the toddler pool at Tamworth Olympic.
“It is fine, we’ve go nothing we are expecting, it’ll just involve a fairly intense maintenance every winter.”
With more than 1000 people checking in each day at the region’s pools in recent weeks, Mr Kelly said staff had been pleased with the vigilance of parents supervising their kids taking a bit of pressure of the poolside workers.
While most swimmers were chiefly concerned with cooling off, the topic on the tip of a lot of tongues was the mooted aquatic centre and the potential loss of the city pool.
Sentiments were divided among Thursday’s swimmers, including Dianne Walmsley who used the opportunity to tell Mr Kelly it would be a “travesty” to lose the pool in the CBD.
“If they want to get rid of two, that’s not on,” she later told The Leader.
“I think we need to keep this one because of its history and its location and it’s not that expensive for a family to get in.”
Meanwhile, Jenny Clancy said Tamworth needed a new aquatic centre “without a doubt”, even it meant losing the Scully and Olympic pools.
“These are so out of date … They need a lot of maintenance,” she said.
A regular pool-user, but not a member of any water-sport club, she said a potential increase to the cost of admission wouldn’t be an issue for her.
“It goes with the cost of running them and you expect that type of cost for a bigger centre as well,” she said.
“We can’t let it not happen.”