Free entry for first day of new Ballina, Alstonville pools
IF you're keen to be the first into the upgraded Ballina pool when it opens on Saturday, be sure to get there early.
Keen swimmer, Anne Marchment from Cumbalum who has been lobbying for the upgrades for about seven years, said she will be there right on time.
"9am, I'll be turning up," she said.
Mrs Marchment once managed a swimming pool in the Riverina for five years, and she has been a regular swimmer in Ballina for about 20 years.
She said, in response to some criticisms that ratepayers were hit with a rate increase to pay for the upgrades of Ballina and Alstonville pools, that swimming pools are "essential amenity for any community," noting how many people have learnt to swim in the two pools over the years.
While she said the new pool, from what she has seen of it, may have some "warts", but overall she is impressed with the upgrade.
"I'd like to congratulate the shire (council) for biting the bullet and producing such an excellent facility," she said.
The upgrades ended up costing $15m. Councillors have agreed that there will be free access to both the Alstonville and Ballina pools this weekend.
The Ballina pool will open at 9am and the Alstonville pool at 11am.
In Ballina, there will be giveaways, squad and swimming lesson demonstrations plus an aqua aerobic class.
Craig Brown, Ballina Shire Council's manager of community facilities, said there also would be a sausage sizzle available or "you can bring your own picnic and be the first to use the new barbecue facilities."
The Ballina pool retains the name Ballina Memorial Pool.