A range of funding options for improving community facilities will need to be explored. How do you feel about the various funding options discussed in the community information brochure?

over 6 years ago
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In order to proceed with any type of upgrade to the facilities, Council will need to establish how such a project could be funded, and even if it can be funded at all. In doing this the Council will need to investigate in detail, options such as loans and major grants, income generating activities, trust funds and donations, cooperative development projects including possible return on assets, or a combination of the above. Different approaches will need to be considered in order to find a 'best fit' between the costs of upgrading facilities and the funding capacity of the Council. Staging of any development may be possible.

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This consultation has concluded.

  • julie.s over 10 years ago
    I think either proposal outlined in the brochure would be of great benefit to the residents of Springwood and the entire Mountains. I'm comfortable with the funding suggestions. I live in Springwood and currently travel to Winmalee or Penrith to shop, so being able to do my grocery and specialty shopping closer to home would be great. I like the 'village' feel of Springwood and both options give the feel of a close, community oriented, environmentally friendly pleasant environment. I'm all for it and hope council can manage the funds in a commercially viable way - not through an exorbitant rates hike!
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    • WOODTAIL over 10 years ago
      If either option winds up including a supermarket/retail complex the "village atmosphere" won't survive for your enjoyment.

      A complex will cherrypick the core businesses and will set up a one stop shopping depot.
      Other communities in the same situation have found their main streets drained of foot traffic vitality and character.

      And how will the council fund it?

      They are pleading for a tax increase now.

      Commercial arrangements with private enterprise always cost.

      Katoomba Cultural Centre has a a council input of $6.5 million and an estimate of up to an annual $ 1 million in running costs. Not to mention the cost of the alienation of OUR community land.

      Facilities do need an upgrade. This can be done in a staged process and means of funding can be explored through grants

      (a path which in Springwood's case appears to have been woefully neglected) and other avenues.
      Preserving our heritage may be worth the effort of a trip to Winmalee or the patronage of our local businesses.

      Hide Replies (7)
      • Redacted user over 10 years ago
        I am old enough to remember when the doomsayers predicted that the relocation of the highway would bring about the downfall of Springwood - ho hum.
        Hide Replies (6)
        • JanO over 10 years ago
          Council has provided us only with two very expensive options and then plans to ask the community how it is to fund one of these very expensive options. This seems to be a cart-before-horse process and one that locks us into a funding option which will be very expensive and in other ways undesirable in the long term. Take the Katoomba Cultural Centre as an example. This doesn't sound like responsible decision-making to me.

          Surely the starting point should be what the Council/community can afford now and into the future. If Council claims it can't afford to install air-conditioning into the existing Civic Centre, I find it rather puzzling that it proposes two stupendously more expensive options and then plans to ask US how they will be funded.

          Given that most councils, certainly including ours, are experiencing problems financing basic services and infrastructure, these options seem to exhibit a large degree of financial mismanagement.

          A more responsible approach would be to adopt a staged, affordable, environmentally friendly upgrade of existing facilities. It should also take into account a growing concern with the environmentally disastrous tendency to tear down essentially functional infrastructure in favour of mega-development.
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          • Jackie8 over 10 years ago
            I do not support funding options that trade off public land nor do I support Public Private Partnerships where supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths destroy the local ecnonomy. Funding and grants from both tiers of Government should be sought for refurbishment as was suggested by Kerrin O'Grady and Pippa McInnes in 2007!!!!
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            • Redacted user over 10 years ago
              Please don't turn this into a debate about the pros and cons of supermarket chains. Could we just talk about the Civic Centre.
              Hide Replies (3)
              • peaceful1 about 10 years ago
                How can we possibly just talk about the Civic Centre without incorporating a discussion on supermarket chains? How else could it be funded? The issue, as I see it, is Council wants to recoup monies lost by bad management and they will do this by selling/leasing land in the heart of our village and the carrot they dangle is upgrade the Civic Centre and library PLUS retail.
                Hide reply (1)
                • Redacted user about 10 years ago
                  If the line that a new Civic Centre equals a big, new supermarket is promoted, it might convince people who want a supermarket to accept one of the proposed options on that basis alone. Brendan Luchetti got 29% of the primary vote in the 2008 Council elections so that section of the community has made their position on a supermarket clear. But what about the other 71% - do you know how they feel about the supermarket issue?
              • MikeParker about 10 years ago
                This process is all about the Supermarket. This is a continuation of this flawed process and is part of the community consultation for the preparation of more detailed documentation to support Stage 2 of the tender process (Request for Detailed proposals).

                Just look at the council reports.
  • Norman over 10 years ago
    It is ridiculous to be considering one of two $15million proposals on one hand, and be asking for a 31% rate raise on the other.

    I believe that whatever the funding options are, we will end up paying significantly.

    I suggest shelve both these proposal for, say, five years and then reconsider financial viability at that point.

    And cancel any further work on this and put the savings of that towards the $20 million that council needs to keep our roads trafficable.
  • why? over 10 years ago
    Governments at all levels in this country have never had so much tax payers’ money. It disgusts me to see this money mismanaged to the state that local government needs to consider prostituting itself to multinational corporations to provide basic services. After all, the only thing that council has to offer rate payers is service.

    No growth will ever be successful in Springwood until traffic access & parking is dealt with. To suggest that public transport will ease this issue is naive & demonstrates councillors seeming ignorance of the local terrain & expectations of the community. Perhaps councillors need to get out of their “Ivory Tower” in the upper mountains & take a look at the dangerous situations that exist in entering Springwood during morning & afternoon peak hours.

    Many local residents that I talk to, avoid shopping in Springwood at the best of times because of the difficulty getting in to the town centre, finding a car parking spot which would be accessible with a trolley full of groceries & then & out again when finished. The elderly & infirm have trouble carrying heavy bags of shopping in Springwood now & surely any change should be an improvement?

    Even though I would prefer to support local Springwood businesses, it is often easier to drive to Winmalee as a first option as I always find convenient parking. Once there, I do all of my shopping, even though I’m not fond of shopping at Coles as I find that they stock what they want to sell me rather than what I want to buy!

    While considering all of the proposed options please remember the aging population which will be isolated from community events if venues are built in separate areas or on different levels.
  • S O'Sullivan about 10 years ago
    I think it is obvious that BMCC wants to enter into a Public Private Partnership (or "a co-operative development project" as they are now calling it) with Woolworths or Coles or Jamieson Property Group and inflict on Springwood a retail / supermarket complex with shop top housing on a multi level carpark so they can pay off some debt. If that happens we will have lost our small town and may as well be living in Penrith or Parramatta. There are other ways of funding a simple upgrade of our civic buildings other than dancing with the devils of corporate greed. If their isn't a hidden agenda here please tell me why government grants to upgrade haven't been investigated for Springwood but have been sought and received for Katoomba Cultural centre. It appears that there has been only one path. Why?
  • abell about 10 years ago
    Upgrading our civic and community facilities is a no brainer.

    What is of concern is whether funding for the upgrade is from government grants or private/public partnerships. The latter has caused real concern in many other local government areas. The concept of Private/Public partnerships is now subject to an Enquiry by the Legislative Council of New South Wales. This Enquiry has been generated because of significant concerns raised by the Government of New South Wales as to whether private/public partnerships are an appropriate means of funding community infrastructure development.

    What you commonly see with private/public partnerships is the use of the term “commercial in confidence”. In a practical sense, this brings about a situation where the people of the Blue Mountains are not allowed to learn the financial arrangements between say Colesworth and the Council concerning the funding of any upgrade to the civic facilities. Try asking the Council to provide information about the contribution by Coles to the Katoomba Cultural Centre and you will be told that information cannot be disclosed.

    This is an important issue because the community is being told the upgrade or new facilities will not cost the Council and that means the community, any money. The public can never know if this is correct because the “commercial in confidence” arrangements prohibit the disclosure of financial information.

    Other Councils have undertaken an upgrade of their community facilities. This is not a new problem. Council should liaise with their colleagues from Shoalhaven Council, Parramatta Council, Willoughby Council or any other Councils who have, over recent times, provided new or refurbished community infrastructure facilities and ascertain how did they go about it and benefit from other Councils’ experience. Other Councils will no doubt be willing to share their collective experience to assist our Council in planning the best way to access Government grants to achieve the desired outcome, namely, an upgrade of our community facilities.

    Government grants on a State and Federal level have never been seriously examined. There should be a summit where members of the Federal and State Governments are invited to attend a public meeting at the Civic Centre to discuss what possible avenues are available for funding to improve our community facilities.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Lawsonite about 10 years ago
      This has been one of the most important comments I've seen on this forum. The councillors and council bureaucrats are responsible to we the ratepayers.

      If a private company can make a profit from a facility/road etc for its shareholders then a council or govt department should be able to it cheaper as has always been done in the past.

      I,too, would very much like to know the commercial arrangements between BMCC and Coles about the coming white elephant known as the Katoomba Cultural Centre which is going to cost ratepayers are fortune in the end as do most (or all) public/private 'partnerships'.