The Eindhoven based swimming pool, Tongelreep, is to become smaller and simpler. A large majority of the Eindhoven politicians gave the green light for this on Tuesday evening.
The politicians agree with Councillor Stijn Steenbakkers. He argued for a ‘basic’ swimming pool, with plenty of facilities for associations but with very limited recreational opportunities. He made this choice last month when an investigation showed that the original EUR19 million construction plan for Tongelreep is financially impossible. Instead of an 8,200m2 swimming pool, there is only a budget for one of 5,000m2. The reason – rising construction costs.
Least bad option
Almost all of the local political parties agree with the trimmed down version. They do not like it, because the original plan was supported by associations, recreational swimmers, and other parties concerned. But there is no other choice, now that the Municipality is strapped for cash, the parties say. “It is the least bad option”, Henk Jager of the Christen Unie (Christian Union), says. The VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) agrees. “We need to reduce costs”, VVD member, Ceciel van Bergeijk, says.
Only the opposition parties, D66 (Democrats) and SP (Socialist Party), are critical of the decision. Especially the SP finds that the Municipality should continue to work on the old plan for Tongelreep. “That building plan was promised to the city. We need to fulfill that promise. If necessary, the Municipality should make additional funds available to make that happen”, SP Councillor, Murat Memis, says. The trimmed down plan can count on little sympathy with him. “Then it is no longer a family pool, but a tiny bath where only associations can go”.
Other groups have pinned their hopes on, especially, Councillor Steenbakkers. He wants to start building this ‘basic’ swimming pool as soon as possible so that the construction costs do not increase further. From there he wants to search for external funders, such as companies and the surrounding municipalities. “There is no guarantee for success. However, I have already spoken with some potential lenders and I am excited about it. But I do not want to mention any names yet, because you should not count your chickens before they hatch”.
Translated by: Bob
Edited by: Melinda