At the Council meeting next Tuesday the Councillors will discuss the request they have received from NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) seeking to lease the former Batemans Bay Bowling Club site in Vesper Street, Batemans Bay for a secure compound for the Batemans Bay Bridge Replacement Project. As part of the request received, RMS have advised that its strong preference is to demolish the main building and remediate the asbestos contamination in the building and grounds so that the site can be used as the main compound for the bridge project. An independent valuation by a registered valuer has assessed that the site is worth more as a clean and level site, which is more attractive to potential responders to the future Expression of Interest for the northern precinct. With the building demolished, Council will not incur any ongoing maintenance liabilities. To date Council has paid $2.73 million for the property taking out a $2m loan from TCORP for the purchase. With two years of interest payments suggested at $80,000 a year the building has been costing the community to sit idle. Council have now stated that they have no need of the site after the RMS Bridge project is complete as their purchase "for strategic purposes" to become co-developers in a Private sector partnership fell on its face when there were no private partners willing to step in and build what Council insisted on knowing that Council had no skin in the game and no inclination to co-contribute to the development as might be expected in a partnership. The Beagle understands that the rental agreed between the RMS and Council will be in excess of the annual interest bill. The demolition and removal of material at no cost to the community is also a good thing however it must be remembered that the RMS is using community money to do so. There is also a portion of Crown Land adjacent to the Bowling Club that RMS are seeking to lease directly from the Crown. It is part of the car park immediately to the west of the building. This portion of the land will be subject to an additional lease between RMS and the Crown. The car park has been used by Grey Nomads for some time and they will now need to move on. One suggestion in grey nomad social media is a move to the area known as Spinnaker Reach and Corrigans Beach, both overlooking the Clyde River with free BBQ facilities where there are modern public toilets and a dump point. The report to Council next Tuesday recommends that a lease for a term of three years with a one year option be granted. RECOMMENDATION THAT 1. Council grant a lease to Roads and Maritime Services for a secure compound for the Batemans Bay Bridge Replacement Project within Lots 282, 283 and 299 DP 755902 and Lot 304 DP 257116, Vesper Street, Batemans Bay subject to key terms including: (a) A term of three years commencing on 1 July 2018 and terminating on 30 June 2021 with a one year option. (b) Payment of rental as set out in the Confidential Attachment to the Report. (c) Provision of evidence of public liability insurance cover in the amount of at least $20 million. (d) Demolition of the former Batemans Bay Bowling Club building by RMS or its contractors. 2. Consent be given to affix the Common Seal of Council to all documents associated with the granting of a lease over Lots 282, 283 and 299 DP 755902 and Lot 304 DP 257116. 3. Council to re-use or undertake the public sale of all useable non-fixed assets within the building. 4. The demolition of the building be undertaken in a manner that makes all reasonable attempts to reuse and recycle materials.
Above: If approved, the lease with RMS will commence on 1 July 2018 for a three year term with a one year option. RMS will use the site as a secure compound for the Batemans Bay Bridge Replacement Project and this will include; a temporary administration office, storage of vehicles, plant and equipment, stockpiling of materials and replacement car parking for the CBD.