Wardell centre in doubt
TIME could be up for the Wardell Community Centre, with the 12-month deadline to increase patronage having come to an end.
Ballina Shire Council's finance committee meets on Monday, and staff have recommended that the centre be closed "as soon as practically possible". This is because of "low levels of community patronage and the inability to attract agencies and other services providers".
Last April councillors gave residents a year in which to build support for the community centre, or it would be closed down.
It is used by community groups such as Knit 'n' Knat, Alcoholics Anonymous and youth groups.
A working party formed to save the centre has met seven times.
But council staff report there has been "no reasonable increase in any of the centre's operations".
"Moreover, operating expenses have been maintained at the approximate levels existing at the time council last considered this matter," the report states.
Patrick Carney, from the Wardell Progress Association, said it was "inevitable" the centre would be closed.
"It's a shame, but people just haven't come forward and supported it," he said.
However Mr Carney said the trustees of the Wardell and District War Memorial Hall had indicated they would be willing to allow the council to take over the hall.
He said the community's activities could then be run through the hall.
"If the council is prepared to spend a little bit of money to bring the hall up to scratch, it could be a viable alternative," he said.