Council faces ultimatum from NSW Government
Will Coffs be forced to join JO?
COFFS Harbour City Council has been given an ultimatum by the State Government to join the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation.
The NSW Government began rolling out JO's earlier this year, which involves regional councils banding into larger groups to collaborate with the State Government in delivering projects.
In a previous meeting, the council voted against joining the Mid North Coast JO which comprises of Bellingen, Kempsey and Port Macquarie councils, instead seeking to join a JO comprising of Clarence Valley, Bellingen and Nambucca councils.
Cr Sally Townley said the council should remain loyal to the local government area.
"I know there's a fear that if we don't play along with what the overlords want us to do we may be left out but I really feel that it's a low risk," she said.
"We need to be clear that our loyalty is to our local government area and if we were to become part of a JO we need to choose which configuration (of councils) would best serve the needs of our community."
Cr Keith Rhoades held concerns two major regional centres in one JO (Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie) could result in the towns being at loggerheads over funding.
The council has since received a letter from the Deputy Permier of NSW John Barilaro and Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton advising the council to join the Mid North Coast JO as the State Government will not be establishing any new JO's.
The council must now decide whether to join or risk not having a voice on issues impacting the community.
Moving forward with the Cultural and Civic Space
THE council will decide whether to progress the Cultural and Civic Space project to the next design phase.
The new facility is proposed to include a Regional Gallery, library, museum, community meeting rooms, shop, cafe, Council Chambers and more, with a net cost estimate of $46 million.
Construction is planned to commence in July 2020 and the facility operational by May 2022.
Funding is proposed to come from a variety of sources including the sale of the Rigby House, the Castle St Administration Building, the Rose Avenue Commercial Offices and the Museum - all worth a total of $20.54m.
Council to take land from owners to upgrade crash hotspot?
The council will vote whether to proceed with compulsory acquisition of land from two property owners to upgrade a dangerous corner on Coramba Rd at Karangi, which has seen a number of crashes resulting in six injuries since 2012.
The council received Federal Blackspot funding in June last year to upgrade the corner, however it requires works on a small section of land from two adjoining rural properties, and negotiations over the past 12 months with the owners have been unsuccessful.
The works need to be planned to commence for early 2019 otherwise the funding will be lost.
Free footpath use across the LGA on the cards
The council may endorse a new model which will see registered participants, such as businesses, buskers and non-profits, use footpaths without cost.
In a bid to provide more vibrancy to the streets and enhance customer service, fees across Coffs Harbour could be waived for things such as signs, merchandise stalls/displays, outdoor dining, and buskers and performers from July 1.
A recent six-month trial in the CBD was deemed a success.
Urgent call for new signage at the boat ramp
AS a petition to upgrade the boat ramp makes its way around town, Cr Paul Amos will move the council urgently establish new signage at the ramp advising boaters of the potential dangers.
The factors of low tide, large swell and Northern swell result in dangerous launching conditions at the ramp.
"This initiative is needed in parallel with the greater aspirations of the community advocacy groups as it immediately educates and informs the ramp user to clearly indicate that there are times when the tides and swell stop access to launching," Cr Amos said.
A new bridge to improve parking?
Mayor Denise Knight will move the council investigate the possibility of a bridge connecting the showground to the Botanic Garden, in order to provide more parking for those attending events at the gardens.
"While I attended the Japanese Children's Festival recently cars were parked in driveways of residences, nature strips and some distance away I saw multiple instances of aggression and frustration," Cr Knight said.
"... the showground remains empty most of the year round, it would serve the community greatly to have easier access to the gardens and also available parking."