Eurobodalla councillors will meet next week to decide on a preliminary concept for the Mackay Park precinct in Batemans Bay.
The extraordinary meeting has been called for Tuesday 29 August so that Council can decide on one of two options to present to the NSW Government, which is currently offering significant funding for the development of cultural and sports facilities under two grant programs. The deadline for the first funding submission is 4 September.
Council’s Director of Planning and Sustainability Lindsay Usher says a decision is required now to maximise Council’s chances of success for funding to construct a regional aquatic centre and arts and cultural facility on the gateway site.
Reiterating Mayor Liz Innes’ statements in the media and at community meetings held on Tuesday, Mr Usher’s report states that “making a decision about the option does not mean there is no opportunity for improvements or other changes as the concept plan is refined into architectural drawings, including the option to design a facility that allows for potential expansion in the future.”
The report recommends that Council move forward with option one, which sees the aquatic centre, arts and cultural facility and gateway visitor centre co-located in one facility on the southern part of the precinct.
Option two proposes an aquatic facility on the southern part of the precinct and an arts and cultural facility on the northern end, the Council-owned former bowling club site.
According to the business case prepared by consultants Otium Planning, option one’s single facility will cost $2.7 million less to construct and significantly less to operate than the two separate facilities outlined in option two. A shared management and staffing model will save $2.97 million in operating costs over ten years, while shared infrastructure, services and plant provide further savings.
The consultant also notes that option one also leaves the northern, Council-owned part of the precinct unencumbered, increasing its potential for a public-private partnership to deliver the other preferred development outcomes for the precinct, such as tourist accommodation and events and conferencing facilities.
In both options, the consultant recommends a 25-metre, eight-lane pool, along with a separate warm water program pool and spa area, plus a toddler and leisure water area, water-play splash pad and waterslides.
A 50-metre pool will cost approximately $6 million more to construct and up to $300,000 per year more to operate and is not recommended in the business case. The report notes the limited market for a 50-metre pool when compared to the strong demand for recreation and program/therapy pool space, given the ageing population and the family tourist market.
For the arts and cultural facility, the concept plans include a 500-seat theatre with retractable seating for performances and a range of indoor programs and meetings, wet and dry arts activity rooms and a gallery and music/recording studio.
The combined facility will also include general meeting rooms, a visitor information service, a cafe and a welcoming shared reception.
The full report is now available on Council’s website. http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/inside-council/council/meetings/2017/august/extraordinary-council-meeting-29-august-2017/Agenda-Public.pdf
Community members who would like to address Council about the Mackay Park options during the public forum session should register by midday, Monday 28 August by calling 4474 1358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Media Release