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Future in doubt for Council buildings

Saturday, 19th December, 2015

The Aged Persons Rest Centre in Blende Street. Council is looking at cutting the number of halls and centres it has and redirecting spending to roads. PICTURE: Andrew Robertson The Aged Persons Rest Centre in Blende Street. Council is looking at cutting the number of halls and centres it has and redirecting spending to roads. PICTURE: Andrew Robertson

By Andrew Robertson

City Council-owned halls and centres are in the firing line after a survey found residents wanted more funding for roads.

The recent “levels of service” survey, which asked participants to prioritise funding across a range of Council areas, drew over 600 responses.

More than 90 per cent of respondents wanted funding for roads and footpaths either maintained at current levels or increased by up to 20 per cent, according to Council.

But there was less love for community centres and halls, with most of those surveyed wanting funding for them kept at current levels or reduced.

“The survey has demonstrated that the community’s expected levels of service could decrease in the area of community centres and halls and increase in roads without increasing rates and staff will develop a plan to meet this expectation,” Mayor Wincen Cuy said.

“Importantly, we are on that path of looking at our asset management across the city and it will remain a significant focus in 2016.”

Council owns or manages around $236 million worth of public assets, including 240km of roads, 30 sporting grounds, parks and open spaces.

It also owns 11 centres and halls, including the BIU Band and North Mine halls, the Bridge Club, Alma Swimming Club and Youth Centre.

Most survey respondents wanted funding to the city’s sportsgrounds, aquatic centre, parks, and culture and tourism services maintained at current levels.

Council staff would now find out how much each hall and centre was used, and its cost to Council, before further community consultation, the mayor said.

Any “consolidation” of halls and centres would likely take place in 2016/17, with savings funnelled into roads.

Mayor Cuy said on Thursday that Council was beginning a process of investigating how all its asset could be better utilised.

Councillors were last month briefed on proposals to merge and co-locate the visitor information centre and Albert Kersten Mining and Mineral Museum at Council’s own administrative centre, and to relocate the library.

Future in doubt?:

AGED Persons Rest Centre (Blende Street)

ALMA Mechanics Institute (Patton Street)

ALMA Swimming Club

BIU Band Hall

BRIDGE Club (Sturt Park)

BH Swimming Club (Sturt Park)

NORTH Mine Hall

RAILWAYTOWN Baby Health Centre (Central Street)

SOUTH Community Centre

SPORTS and Recreation Centre (Central Street)

YOUTH Centre (Crystal Street)

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