Editors Opinion piece: Recommendation by staff to IGNORE request by Tuross community to waive fees for meetings at the Kyla Hall to be dealt with at the next Council meeting. I have just read that Council will be asked to consider the waiving of meeting fees for the Tuross Head progress Association to conduct 11 monthly meetings without fee at Kyla Hall. To start the ball rolling Council staff offer, in their report to the Councillors: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Tuross Head Progress Association (THPA) has requested a donation from Council equivalent to the prescribed fee for use of the Kyla Park Hall to hold its monthly meetings. (so far so good) In December 2012, Council agreed to make a one-off donation equivalent to the prescribed fee for the THPA for use of the Kyla Park Hall until 30 June 2016. (it was a on-off as Councillors can not give a donation beyond their four year term - so yes it was a one-off for THOSE Councillors only) The Tuross community also received the benefit of the sale of the land made vacant by the demolition of the old Tuross Progress Hall with priority projects selected by the community now complete. (Well excuse me - A Reminder to Council - the Tuross community owned the Hall land so... YES, the Tuross Community received the benefit of the sale (having first to prove to the money grabbing Council that THEY did not own the land) and directed that money to the Tuross community projects with a Sunset Committee in place to oversee that Council spent every cent within the Tuross community - including giving $200,000 for the upgrade of the Kyla Hall because Council had let it fall into such disrepair that it was nearly condemned ) Generally Council does not donate user fees to not-for-profit community groups as these groups are granted a 40% discount for regular hire of public halls under the adopted Fees and Charges. (A reminder to Council that GENERALLY community groups haven't given $200,000 to Council to fix a public hall because Council did not undertake termite inspections of a hall (Kyla Hall) that was actually built by the Tuross Head community and taken over by Council to manage.) So the recommendation at next Tuesday's meeting is Tuesday's RECOMMENDATION from STAFF will be THAT : Council does not donate user fees to not-for-profit community groups as these groups are granted a 40% discount for regular hire of public halls under the adopted Fees and Charges. They continue in the report: Generally Council has not donated fees for regular use by a community group. However, at the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 18 December 2012 Council resolved to: Minute no 12/342: THAT Council: 1.Adopt the fee structure as advertised; 2.Make a donation equivalent to the prescribed fee for the Tuross Head Progress Association for use of the Kyla Park Hall until 30 June 2016; 3.Recognise the history of the Tuross Head Progress Association’s previous arrangements with the Tuross Hall and also recognise this arrangement as a one-off arrangement; (Editors Note: A One Off as this was the extent of their elected term - let's get this in context) 4.Note that any properly constituted meeting of a future Kyla Park Hall management committee would be exempt from hall hire charges. So here we are again - a new four year period, new councillors and a new request for the waiving of fees for Tuross Head Progress Association meetings. Council already requires the THPA to have $20 million dollar Public Liability insurance in order to use the hall - that costs over $400 per year - then they want several hundred dollars more each year for the THPA to conduct its community meetings. How much are we talking about? The current fee of $22.00 + GST per hour for use of Kyla Park Hall for a non-function, with the 40 per cent discount applied is $13.20 + GST per hour. The draft Fees and Charges for 2017-18 has this fee set at $24.00 + GST per hour or $14.40 + GST per hour with the 40 per cent discount applied. An average THPA meeting is 2 hours each month for 11 months per year = 11 x 2 x $15.80 (incl GST) = $347.60 per year FACT: The Tuross Head Progress Assoc has just over 100 members. They pay $5 per year in membership fees. With an annual income of roughly $500 they now have to pay $347.60 to pay for their meetings and another $410 to pay the annual Public Liability insurance premuum required by Council to hire the hall. The President of the THPA, Gary Cooper, will be speaking at the Public Forum on the STAFF recommendation to NOT waive fees. The STAFF'S justification for their recommendation is: Should Council agree to donate the Kyla Park Hall hire fees for the THPA to hold monthly meetings at the facility, other community associations may have increased expectations of receiving similar treatment. Any donation of user fees affects the income received from community facilities and reduces the funds available for asset maintenance. A reminder to Councillors that no other community association injected a further $200,000 into the restoration of a hall (The Kyla Hall) that the community had fund raised, built and then handed over in good faith to Council to manage only to see it fall into such disrepair through GROSS mismanagement that it was on the edge of being condemned). This will be an interesting decision by Councillors to watch.
A reminder to Council that the Kyla Hall was built and paid for by the Tuross Head community in 1981 and that $200,000 (of community money) was directed to its refurbishment a few years ago because Council failed to maintain it to the extent that it was nearly condemned. And now they want to penny pinch $347.60 per year.
The extent of termite infestation that nearly condemned the Kyla Hall because Council failed to undertake annual inspections. Council has been requested by the Kyla Hall Management Committee to provide evidence of recent termite inspections however Council has failed to do so after many written requests.