Huge shire debt based on wrong business case

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE FORMER Toodyay Shire Council used the wrong business case three years ago to justify burdening ratepayers with the biggest loan in shire history to pay for the town’s new $15 million sport and recreation centre.

The council voted 6-3 in December 2017 to borrow $2.7 million (later increased to $4.5 million) for the new facility but based its decision on a business case for a different project that was scrapped after only a fortnight because former CEO Stan Scott (pictured left with former shire president Brian Rayner) botched the figures.

The $2.7 million loan was in addition to a 2013 council decision to borrow $1 million to buy the rocky 13ha site on the eastern edge of town from Perth property developer Ironbridge Holdings.

Many Toodyay residents wanted only a long-sought public swimming pool, which shire costings showed would have required an easily manageable $60,000 loan.

Total loan debt for the newly completed project now stands at $5.24 million.

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