Council has voted to apply to IPART for a Special Rate Variation to cover the cost of operation, maintenance and renewal of the shire's swimming pools - but it seems there is already another SRV in place for recreational facilities raising over $500,000 a year.
In 2013 IPART determined that council could increase its general income by a cumulative amount of 16.76 per cent over the three-year period from 2013/14 to 2015/16, and to permanently incorporate this increase into its general income base.
The first year was a 2 per cent increase (on top of the rate cap) for collector roads and would raise $400,000 in its first year.
In the second year there was a 2.5 per cent increase for recreation and access raising $507,000 in its first year.
In the third year there was a further 2 per cent increase for public buildings raising $440,000 in its first year.
Council's own submission stated all three items would be retained and indexed in an ongoing capacity. Council documents show the proposed rate increased extrapolated over 10 years to 2022/23.
The rate increases were referenced against council's Asset Management Plan, the document which detailed ongoing costs and maintenance for all council-owned property. Swimming pools are listed as part of the recreation facilities in the Asset Management Plan.
One of the conditions set by IPART was that council reports in its annual report for each year from 2013/14 to 2022/23 on "expenditure on service levels and community infrastructure consistent with the council's application, and the reasons for any significant differences from the proposed expenditure - the outcomes achieved as a result of the actual program of expenditure".
In the annual report of 2017/18 the income from the recreational portion of the 2013 SRV was listed as $545,000 and it was listed as spent but there was no detail on what or how it was spent.
In the council meeting of Wednesday, November 20 the matter of the 2013 SRV was raised by Cr Russell Fitzpatrick following an earlier deputation by David Jesson. General manager Leanne Barnes appeared to reference the separate 2010 sports SRV when she said it only lasted for three years.
The 2013 SRV is in addition to a 2009 SRV which raises about $90,000 for recreation buildings and pools.
Mr Jesson also raised the matter of the existing funds used by council to pay for swimming pool operations and maintenance, calling the current SRV proposal "a double dip".
He wants to know where and how council will use the funds it currently expends on pool costs if an SRV is raised to cover these costs.
The mayor has said it would be used towards roads, bridges and major projects but Mr Jesson believes council should be more specific and inform the community.