Moyne Shire Council has voted to bail out Port Fairy's Belfast Aquatics, committing to pay the community pool $91,712.30 so it can pay its insurance until April 2023.
The decision pushes council's support for the pool beyond a quarter of a million dollars for the coming financial year.
The decision passed six votes to one with Cr Jim Doukas rejecting the proposal.
Cr Jordan Lockett said the local community loved the pool, and so did council, which had to "do everything it (could) do to keep the pool open".
Cr Karen Foster agreed, saying council should do "everything in our power" to keep the pool afloat and she was constantly stopped in the street by passionate community members about the issue.
Belfast Aquatics committee chair Anne McIlroy wrote to councillors on May 23 requesting the additional money and saying the committee was "appreciative of your ongoing support to continue the operations of Belfast Aquatics".
Moyne Shire community and corporate services director David Rae said the committee was "in the difficult situation of either having to wind up or finding a benefactor to pay the premium".
While council officers supported the additional support for Belfast Aquatics, they voiced concerns about the significant additional burden on council's budget and recommended a full investigation be done into the operation of the facility.
The investigation would be performed by an outside consultant at additional cost to council and would have to be completed by December 2022.
The cost of this new consultant could be large enough to trigger council's mandatory tendering requirement. Mr Rae said the CEO should be made exempt from the tendering requirement because it would delay the process. "Time is of the essence," he said.
Council has already spent up to $20,000 on a consultant to rewrite Belfast Aquatics' governance policies, which were the cause of the centre's insurance being cancelled in March 2022.
Cr Daniel Meade said several reviews of the pool had been done over the past few years, which hadn't solved the pool's difficulties. Mr Rae said those reviews would be used as a starting point in the new investigation.
Cr James Purcell said if there was a new committee to manage Belfast Aquatics, it should become a committee of council so council had direct responsibility for the facility. Cr Damian Gleeson said he hoped the current committee could work with council officers to "seek a suitable and viable outcome".
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