33 projects on chopping block to help fix $6.1m black hole
IN AN attempt to balance its books, Lismore City Council has announced it will defer or cancel up to 33 projects.
On the hit list are plans to review and update the Floodplain Management Plan, demolition of the Lismore Lake Pool and investigation of a rail trail for the Northern Rivers.
Footpath repairs for the CBD, improvements to funeral services and the investigation of a regional sports hub could also be rain-checked as the council looks for remedies to fill its $6 million black hole.
The March council meeting agenda, released under the direction of general manager Shelley Oldham, notes that "due to financial concerns, Council engaged consultants to review the long term financial plan forecasts".
"As part of the process, a due diligence audit for the 2018/19 Budget was completed and it highlighted significant financial issues," the business paper states.
"With this background, the consultants also reviewed all projects and have made recommendations on the deferral or cancellation of 33 projects that are not in the four-year Imagine Lismore Delivery Program or do not have allocated funding."
According the agenda, the projects reviewed and recommended for either deferral or cancellation are:
- Review and update the Floodplan Risk Management Plan 2015
- Demolish Lismore Lake Pool
- Creation of Athletic Performance Centre aimed at delivery strength and conditioning services to local sporting teams, athletes, squads and students requiring specialised sports training.
- Investigate feasibility of a regional sports hub
- Preliminary planning and investigation of a 'Sports House' complimenting existing soccer facility as well as netball, artificial track and field facility and sports house
- Review Cycleway Plan to assess next priorities following the completion of the circa $3M RMS funded works
- Undertake access audit of Council facilities and building.
- Review Pedestrians Access and Mobility Plan (PAMP).
- Enhance the Bridge to Bridge Plan of Management with further concept design for revitalisation and activation of the riverbank areas between the two bridges on both the CBD and South Lismore sides of the Wilson River.
- Design Lismore Transit Centre forecourt upgrade including new seating, footpath works and retaining walls.
- Increase the amount of greenery and install planter boxes in the CBD.
- Transform the open space beside the Lismore Transit Centre with planted and visual elements that reference Wilson River.
- Create 'parklets' throughout the CBD and commission mobile pop-up vans for events.
- Upgrade existing footpaths within the main CBD block of Lismore.
- Manage the progressive rollout of Wifi in the CBD and provide power outlets for event in the city centre.
- Investigate a Rail Trail for the Northern Rivers.
- Complete the Renewable Energy Master Plan including: increased energy efficiency measures in major facilities and install solar photovoltaic behind the meter.
- Investigate the feasibility of a mid-scale renewable energy plant.
- Installation of mid-scale energy plant.
- Review and update the Lismore Housing Strategy based on up-to-date demographics, housing need and market analysis.
- Market the medium-density housing precinct and associated infrastructure contributions discounts.
- Review and Update Crime Prevention Plan to access grant funding opportunities
- Develop a plan for future passive recreational use and habitual management for Lismore Lakes project
- Investigate feasibility and funding for Nimbin Walking Trail
- Plan and design a recreational Walking Trail throughout Lismore
- Improve funeral service facilities including a new chapel and wake facility
- Review and update the Partnership Strategy
- Host Partnering summit to capture new and emerging partnering projects to inform the revised strategy
- Develop Brunswick Street Depot site Stage 2 Construction 2021.
- Aboriginal and Dual Naming project from Notice of Motion April 2018.
- Social Justice committee project from Notice of Motion April 2018 to bring together community members to firm a Social Justice and Crime Prevention Committee.
- Greening NORPA - feasibility of energy efficient lighting at City Hall.
- Plant signature trees at strategic locations around the Local Government Area.
Council was contacted for comment, but a representative said they were unable to comment until councillors had voted and resolved the matter.