Council seeks community centre tenant

FRUSTRATED in negotiations with Casino Neighbourhood Centre over the tenancy of the Casino Community and Cultural Centre, Richmond Valley Council will look for other parties to take up the space.

It had been discussing the possibility of the Neighbourhood Centre leasing the building, however it is now looking elsewhere.

The upstairs space of the community centre has sat empty since it opened in September during negotiations to let the neighbourhood centre occupy the space and manage the facility.

But Mayor Col Sullivan said negotiations had stalled with the parties disagreeing on who would pay for the fit-out.

He said the Neighbourhood Centre wanted the council to pay, but council expected the Neighbourhood Centre to pay "like any rental agreement".

It is understood the Neighbourhood Centre received a government grant of more than $220,000 for the purpose.

"We spent all the money we had doing downstairs, and they want more than we are prepared to give," Cr Sullivan said.

Cr Sullivan said the council had an offer of a commercial rental that it dismissed because it preferred a community organisation.

"It was never intended to be a commercial rent, but at the same time, we need to make it pay its way," he said.

Cr Sullivan said RVC preferred the Neighbourhood Centre to occupy the space, but if negotiations are stalled beyond February it would look at alternatives. In the meantime the council will seek expressions of interest from other parties.

The Neighbourhood Centre declined to comment.


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