The swimming pool in Szamotuły (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship) may be closed for nine months. As the chairman of the city’s Health and Sport Committee says, all because the swimming pool will have to pay 14 times more for gas than this year. 17 people have already been terminated.
It is the only swimming pool in the district, visited by about three thousand people every week. Children, seniors and people with disabilities come to the classes. This will no longer be possible from January. Bartosz Węglewski, chairman of the Health and Sports Committee in Szamotuły and at the same time the manager of the municipal company managing the facility, says in front of the TVN24 camera that the city simply cannot afford its maintenance:
– All because of a gigantic, fourteen-fold increase in gas prices compared to the current year – admits Węglewski.
He adds that the pool management company would have to pay four to six million zlotys more for the operation of the facility than in 2022. He points out that detailed calculations are still in progress.
– We are talking about the energy issues themselves. The city and commune council is trying to implement a recovery plan, but millions are also needed for that. It also takes time to do that, he says.
Therefore – as he says – there is “basically no chance” of saving the swimming pool.
– Of course, we fight for it every day – he tells a TVN24 reporter.
Plans and finding solutions
The swimming pool – if the situation does not change – is to be closed from January and stand empty for the next nine months.
We will try to keep this period shorter. Everything depends on the progress of the investments that the company implements with the support of the city. These include heat pumps, recuperation and photovoltaics, which are to relieve these increases in energy – the TVN24 interlocutor points out.
The increases, apart from the swimming pool, also severely affected the Sports Center in Szamotuły.
– We are introducing very strong savings. The municipal management plant had to terminate the contracts of its employees, it is about 17 people – the councilor is providing.
Year 2021 – electricity costs: PLN 1,766,978.47 net, gas costs: PLN 294,223.28 net Year 2022 – electricity costs: PLN 1,876,704.31 net (January to August), gas costs: PLN 186,343.46 Year 2023 – estimated electricity costs: PLN 10,611,700.00 net (calculations based on a rate that is no longer applicable), estimated gas costs: PLN 3,554,147.16 net
The chairman of the Health and Sport Committee in Szamotuły emphasizes that the idea of closing the swimming pool did not appeal to the residents, who send letters to the city in large numbers demanding that the swimming pool be kept in operation.
“It’s definitely a shock to many people. We are talking about a facility that serves the entire county, about 90,000 people. Unfortunately, until we receive government assistance, we will not be able to maintain it – says the man.
The pool is about to close
Main photo source: TVN24