The discussion about the De Smelen swimming pool in Geldrop seems endless.
Councillor Peter Looijmans is still negotiating with the operator, but things are difficult. He sought support from the council, but they aren’t happy with the situation. The discussion flared up again during the council meeting on Tuesday.
Confidence in the operator, Laco, is limited. The municipality isn’t allowed to inspect the operator’s finances. At the same time, Laco is requesting a subsidy for a significant renovation.
“It’s not the municipality’s responsibility to maintain the swimming pool. Nevertheless, Laco and we have looked at what needs to be done. We had an agreement, but Laco wants pre-financing, and we’re not a bank,” says Looijmans.
The proposal is to help Laco financially now that the operator has taken on the renovation. “We’re disappointed with the council proposal we’re now being presented,” says Nico van Dijck, CDA councillor.
“Two years ago, we decided to keep the swimming pool, but we’ve ended up in the mire.” Van Dijck would like to reconsider possible cooperation with other municipalities. The PvdA is also done with the complex discussion and wants clarity.
‘Something is seriously wrong’
“When tiles start falling off the walls, and the water’s dirty, things are going seriously wrong,” Councillor Dorien te Dorsthorst says. That’s why the party first wants a clear implementation plan before the municipality signs an agreement.
The swimming pool is a headache. The owner and the council have been at odds for years. The municipality’s budget allowed for offering the swimming pool a contract of approximately 15 years.
Until now, Laco has been offered short contracts of up to two years. Therefore, the owner never invested heavily in the swimming pool. Now negotiations are still tricky despite the council’s contribution.
So, the council wants to reconsider other possibilities. The pool will remain open this year. But the councillors wish to decisions to be made. Meanwhile, the discussion within the council is far from over. At the next council meeting, they’ll pick it up again.
Translated by: Bob