Pool operator requests extra $300k a year from council
LANE 4 Aquatics, the Newcastle company that was controversially awarded the tender to take over the management of a number of local pools, is now asking Coffs Harbour City Council for further financial assistance.
Lane 4 Aquatics is asking for approximately $300,000 per annum above the agreed price to continue to meet its obligations in managing the pools.
The company is currently the sub-lessee of Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool, Sawtell Swimming Pool and Woolgoolga Swimming Pool.
A report that will be considered at this week's council meeting however advises that councillors should reject the request.
The report points out the request for further financial assistance was made in early February which was before the Covid-19 pandemic and six weeks before the Federal Government introduced restrictions to pools.
"Budget projections have been made with the agreed pricing. The additional funding requested is significant and the allocation would be at the expense of other projects and services," the report states.
The council was placed under heavy public scrutiny in early 2017 when it decided to award the tender to manage the three public pools to an out-of-town company over a local company.
Each of the three pools were previously run by separate local operators.
Lane 4 Aquatics was awarded a 10-year lease for Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic pool, with the option to extend for a further 10 years, and 5-year leases for Sawtell and Woolgoolga Pools with an option to extend both for a further 5 years.
The leases commenced in July, 2017.