Grandiose plan too costly

ON TUESDAY November 28, I attended the Ordinary Council Meeting and wish to advise the ratepayers of a decision by the majority of councillors on the progress of the town pool.
The councillors voted 6-2 to allow the CEO to proceed with the application for federal and state grants and if these are successful, to apply for a loan of $8 million (I repeat – this is eight million dollars).
 
The shire wants to build the pool and sporting complex for an amount of $23 million, this is to be funded from monies in hand, grants and the $8 million loan.
 
To service this loan the repayment will be $500,000 per annum, plus a cost of $ 20,000 per month for the pool running cost, over a 20-year period.
 
The shire is struggling to operate within its current budget with little or no surplus, so how can it believe that a further cost of this amount can be serviced?
 
I know how they can do it, increase our rates by at least 8-10 per cent, plus the normal increases, so I can see an increase of 15 per cent in the coming years.
 
Only two councillors could see that this is a problem and voted against the motion.
 
They explained that they were not against the pool, just the overall cost of a big new recreation centre.
 
Most of the discussion was about the pool and not the overall complex. I believe that the majority of councillors did not fully understand what they were voting for and subsequent ramifications.
 
My question is: why can’t we have a pool for $4.7 million which could be funded without a loan, in lieu of this grandiose scheme?
 
If you the ratepayers wish to be handed this cost for 20 years then do nothing – don’t attend council meetings, don’t write letters to the Herald, don’t contact the Toodyay Progress Association to complain about the high rate increases.
If you do not want this impost, then talk to your councillors and let your feelings be known.
 
They would be able to put a motion forward to have only the pool with a manageable debt, but this can only happen if the majority of councillors are in agreement. 
Brian Foley, Dewars Pool


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