'We desperately need this ...'
By MARY MANN
THANK goodness for that.
These four simple words barely express the joy that Lyndal Denny felt on hearing the news that Ballina would get its $4 million community services centre after all.
Ballina Shire Council came close to binning the project last month on the recommendation of its facilities committee, which cited a budget blow-out and tenancy issues.
But at a meeting on Wednesday night the council gave the much-anticipated project the green light putting a smile back on Ms Denny's face.
"This is fantastic," the vice-president of Ballina District Community Services Association, the main%tenant, said.
"Ballina desperately needs this."
The centre will provide day care for elderly dementia patients and people with disabilities, as well as training rooms for volunteers and office space for community groups.
Acting mayor David Wright said the project had always been a priority of the council, but that it needed to sort out tenancy issues which had now been done.
"This is an excellent outcome for the community in that council will now be constructing a contemporary facility from which a range of community-based services will be provided," Cr Wright said.
"It will be constructed on the western side of the reserve, so there is room for something like a multipurpose centre down the track."
Funding has come from Federal, State and local government sources, as well as an anonymous donation of $520,000. Work is expected to start next week.