CONCERNS have once again been raised about the declining state of the city's pools with one councillor highlighting a budget shortfall.
Tamworth Regional Council put the rubber stamp on its budget for 2019/20 with $179 million to be spent across its services and projects for the next 12 months.
But there was only $119,417 in the budget for renewal works on the region's aquatic facilities, which includes six public swimming pools.
The funding allocation raised concerns for Glenn Inglis who said the Tamworth city Olympic pool was in a bad way.
Cr Inglis said the council should be thinking about a contingency plan if the grand plan for a new aquatic centre didn't come off.
"We need to be thinking about plan as early as possible ensuring the two existing pools are able to properly serve the community," he said.
Cr Inglis said the council's audit and risk committee went through for an eyeopening tour of the city pool recently.
"After the inspection, all of the other members were quite surprised how bad some of the infrastructure was ... it's not too far off some major expenditure," he said.
He said it wasn't clear whether the aquatic centre would materialise within one year or a decade and the council needed to have a funding strategy for its current facilities, which weren't "in a great shape".
Earlier this year, the councillors backed a $67 million business plan for a state-of the-art aquatic centre pegged for construction near the sports dome.
The business case which was endorsed by the council also found it would cost about $37 million to bring the two city pools up to scratch.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the annual operational plan was a serious attempt to address the needs and wants of the community.
"I encourage the community to take comfort we are quite solid financially but we face continual pressure with cost increases and changing expectations about what the core business of council is," he said.
In the upcoming budget, the council is set to spend $14 million on a water upgrade for Manilla and $9 million on stage 2 of the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence.
The council also voted to raise rates, water and waste charges by 2.7 per cent in the next year.