The City of Mount Gambier resolved to allocate $30,000 from its budget to prepare documentation for a proposed multifunctional indoor recreation and aquatic centre at its monthly meeting last night. Planning will include the revision of a feasibility study and concept plans, facility management options and a ratepayer impact report, including initial engagement with various stakeholder groups.
"The Simply Great Leisure (SGL) report on a proposed indoor aquatic centre for the City was delivered in 2007, but it didn’t move forward as a major project due to other competing priorities such as the Library and Railway Lands redevelopments," City of Mount Gambier Mayor Andrew Lee said.
Council also resolved that the revised report will be tabled at the Strategic Standing Committee meeting by or prior to July 2018 and will form the basis of an extensive community and stakeholder engagement process to be determined after the completion of the reports.
"The difficulty that we have at the moment is that we don’t know exactly what this facility will look like as we are reliant on feedback and engagement with the community," Mayor Lee said.
Based on previous research and reports, Council believes the estimated project cost to build a facility of this type could now be in the vicinity of about $25million, with an annual operating cost of about $1.5million.
"Obviously a project of this magnitude would require funding from all three tiers of government and other stakeholders to get it off the ground. At this point, these costs are very much unknown. Council’s decision to allocate funds to refresh and update the figures within the document will help us to gain a better idea of the total costs of the capital and ongoing operational costs."
Mayor Andrew Lee, CEO Mark McShane, General Manager City Growth Dr Judy Nagy and Councillors Steve Perryman, Frank Morello and Christian Greco will form a working party alongside other stakeholders, determined by members of the party, to develop an expression of interest application for the Federal Government Stronger Regions Fund of $272million, due by 27 April 2018.
"Application for this 1:1 funding program is in two parts, the first is an initial expression of interest. If the application fits the criteria and is accepted, we have three months to complete a formal application to be considered by the Federal Government."
A public meeting will be held tonight Wednesday 21 March 2018 at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre at 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start, to discuss the proposed community facility.
"The meeting will be driven by the community and provide each association with an opportunity to address interested community members to outline their support for a centralised multi-purpose facility. City of Mount Gambier CEO Mark McShane will also be present to answer questions about the potential logistics of such a facility."
"No matter how many thousands of steps on your journey, you still need to put the first step forward, otherwise you’ll never get there. I feel that this is the first step towards the goal, so we hope that the community will support this," Mayor Lee said.
For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org