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Council commits up to $2 million for refurbished sports stadium

Bland Shire Council last night adopted its 2014-2015 Operational Plan and budget, including the provision of up to $2 million for the refurbishment of the West Wyalong Sports Stadium.

The decision followed a six week community consultation process during which the community indicated overwhelming support for a refurbishment.

Council received 485 submissions regarding the draft budget, including a petition with 1181 verified signatures supporting a refurbishment ahead of an alternative proposal to build a new facility in Park Street.

Councillors were presented with a précis of all submissions received prior to the meeting and following several weeks of passionate debate unanimously supported the community preference for a refurbishment of the community built stadium adjacent to Ron Crowe Oval.

Design and plans for the refurbished facility will be developed in consultation with stadium user groups.

Bland Shire Council General Manager, Ray Smith, described the outcome as a positive result for both Council and the community.

“The consultation process has worked effectively, the community has spoken and Council has listened,” Mr Smith said.

“I look forward to working together to developing, building and using a refurbished indoor sports facility which the community can enjoy and continue to take great pride in.”

The cost of the refurbishment will be funded from Council’s Community Facilities Reserve. All mining rates paid by Barrick Cowal are currently placed in this reserve.

Meanwhile, Council has also significantly increased its commitment to economic development and tourism in the 2014-2015 budget.

Council resolved to allocate an additional $100,000 from its reserves to fund economic development initiatives and $15,000 to support the new League of Extraordinary Communities partnership with Dull in Scotland and Boring in the United States.

Council is projecting a balanced budget for 2014-2015 which incorporates a 2.3 per cent rate rise in line with the rate pegging limit set by the State Government.

The budget also includes major capital items including -

  • $350,000 to flood proof the sewer system in Ungarie

  • $120,000 for new dome Aerodrome Lighting

  • $50,000 towards therefurbishment ofWyalong Hall

  • $30,000 towards new beams in the Lawn Cemetery, and

  • $200,000 for annual asset renewal

  • $200,000 for matching grant funds

  • $5000 for disabled/pram ramps at Ungarie

  • $12,000 for fencing at Sunshine Park, Mirrool, and

  • $5000 for a feasibility study into a recreational lake at Wyalong

The May meeting also adopted Council’s Delivery Program 2013-2016, Revenue Policy 2014-2015, Workforce Assessment Plan & Strategy 2014-2018, Asset Management Plan 2014, Long Term Financial Plan 2014-2024 and Your Vision Our Future: Bland Shire Community Strategic Plan 2012-2023.