Will Ballina SES be getting a much needed new headquarters?
THE need for a new Ballina SES headquarters is set to be discussed at Ballina Shire Council's finance meeting this week.
A report providing a project update will be handed down by general manager Paul Hickey and councillors will decide on the project's future.
The report states the key issues of the project are the "poor condition of existing headquarters" and the "current site not suitable for new headquarters".
Concept designs for the project within the report revealed the Ballina SES unit was rated as needing a medium to large facility.
The report further stated the existing site was the local unit's preferred place for the new facility.
But with an area of 1413sqm, it was not large enough to fit the proposed new facility, which would have a total floor area of 2740sqm.
"Following a councillor briefing in May 2019, it was agreed staff would investigate an option of a two-storey facility on this preferred site," the report stated.
After council staff investigated several site options, which didn't suit the SES from "an operational perspective", the report recommended the council investigate the crown land immediately to the south of the current site.
"Staff will continue to search for other potential site options for the new SES headquarters that will meet the operational needs of the of the SES unit, however the reality is, at this point in time, a feasible site that is acceptable to the SES has not been identified," the report stated.
"The local SES unit has expressed reservations about impacts on membership and response capability if the headquarters is not located in Ballina, however it may be necessary to assess land options away from Ballina."
At the meeting, councillors will be asked to decide to authorise Mr Hickey to have further discussions with the Ballina SES in respect to the use of the land immediately to the southwest of the current site for a new building.
The finance committee meeting will be held in the Ballina Shire Council Chambers, 40 Cherry Street, Ballina tomorrow (Wednesday, April 8) at 4pm.