THE JOB sounds like an oxymoron, but a leisure planner could be hired to help design the presently unfunded Tamworth Regional Council $67 million aquatic centre.
Councillors will vote on Tuesday whether to hire the planner at a $50,000 to $80,000 price tag, depending on the extent of advice needed.
The consultant would produce a brief detailing the aims, objectives and operational requirements of the pool, before a lead designer is engaged to complete 50 per cent of the detailed project.
And the concept is packed with all the bells and whistles.
The project would have two 50-metre swimming pools, grandstands for 500 people and a 15-metre adventure water slide with disabled access.
Parents would be able to relax at a cafe, pop their kids in the creche or visit the gymnasium, all with off-street parking.
There's just $35,000 left in the kitty for the Tamworth Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre preliminary budget.
Councillors will need to endorse a further $65,000 to hire the leisure planner and pay for internal project management staff expenses.
The hope is that finishing half of the design will allow the council to apply for state and federal government funding on the basis the project is "shovel ready".
Applications for state government funds usually had a business case and design, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said.
"Most councils these days will put consultants on to do their applications," he said.
"Tamworth absolutely needs an aquatic centre, in my view; we need to look at every bit of infrastructure for this city and get every dollar we can."
Even if the new pool goes ahead, Tamworth Regional Council will contribute only $10 million; the other $57 million it will need to source from the state and federal government.
With the councillors' approval, it's estimated a tender for the lead designer will be advertised in April 2020.
That contract would be awarded in June, and half of the design documentation, approved development application and updated construction cost estimate should be finished by June 2021.
The last phase of the project would have the design finalised and the aquatic centre built.
It's expected the council will award just one contract for the design and construction of the project.