THE Ballarat Aquatic Centre is to become self-funded.
All profits from the centre will be ploughed back into infrastructure upgrades and expansions via a Ballarat Aquatic Centre Investment Reserve.
Ballarat City Council voted at its Wednesday night meeting to set up the reserve, as well as approving $160,000 from the fund to upgrade two original change rooms.
In a report to the council, finance executive manager Glenn Kallio said currently any aquatic centre upgrades had to compete for funding with the city’s other projects.
“Though projects may be essential for the centre, when competing for ratepayer funds, the centre projects may be ranked as a lower priority,” Mr Kallio’s report said.
“The result of this (is that) essential projects may be delayed, affecting the successful operations of the centre.”
Mr Kallio said reinvesting profits back into the centre’s infrastructure will reduce the burden on ratepayers.
He also said the original change rooms urgently need an upgrade.
“These change rooms are tired and detract from the facility. Commercial cleaners have been hired in an attempt to improve their appearance. However, the age of these facilities detracts from all efforts made to rectify the current issues.”
Current centre managers Ballarat YMCA will also put in $50,000 to help upgrade the change rooms.
“The proposal put forward within this report will produce positive benefits to both the Ballarat Aquatic Centre and the City of Ballarat, improving the ability of council to meet the infrastructure needs of the centre, as well as providing financial security for the future operations of the centre in the event of budgeted losses.”