Karoonda East Murray council will raise rates by 4.8 per cent to help fix swimming pool

Karoonda's swimming pool in 2017. Photo: Emmalie Balnaves-Gale/File.
Karoonda's swimming pool in 2017. Photo: Emmalie Balnaves-Gale/File.

Karoonda's swimming pool finally looks like being repaired in the next year.

The district's council has allocated $210,000 to the project in its draft budget for 2019-20, published for public consultation on Thursday.

The pool, on the grounds of Karoonda Area School, has been out of action since 2014.

Responsibility for fixing it remains with the Department for Education, from whom The Standard is seeking comment.

But Karoonda East Murray Mayor Caroline Phillips said she was "very keen" to see it done in the next 12 months.

"My children, who are nine and seven, have never had a swimming lesson in this pool," she said.

"That's a huge challenge for our community, in terms of where we're located.

"To get this moving forward would be fabulous for the community."

To pay for the pool and other projects, the council proposes to increase property rates by 4.8 per cent.

The minimum rate payable will go up by $25.

The council is projected to record an operating deficit of $862,000.

Also budgeted for are the previously announced redevelopment of the Karoonda Districts Football Club - $270,000 will go towards unisex change rooms, space for officials and a community gym - and the establishment of an early childhood education and child care service using federal drought funding.

Other projects on the cards include a $60,000 redevelopment of the Wanbi park and playground, and pest and weed management in cooperation with the Southern Mallee and Loxton Waikerie councils.

A new youth advisory council and action plan will empower young people to contribute to local decision-making, while an economic development and tourism strategy will guide future growth.

The council will also reduce fees at the Karoonda caravan park to encourage visitors.

"Council is committed to delivering the infrastructure and services our community needs to grow and thrive," Ms Phillips said.

"We are excited about these key projects and the benefits they will bring."

Councillors will hear from members of the public, make any changes needed and finalise the budget at a meeting on July 18.

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