MAROONDAH Council has officially approved an extra $700,000 in funding towards the Mullum Mullum Reserve upgrade - but at what cost?
The Weekly first reported the proposed upgrade last week. The council voted in favour of committing the additional funds, subject to Norwood Football Club successfully receiving a state government grant of $400,000.
But a budget breakdown reveals the council will source the extra $700,000 by delaying a number of other projects until 2015-16. These include already budgeted-for items such as pathway construction in Jubilee Park, and the renewal of hard court tennis surfaces.
Two items were listed as no longer being a priority — resurfacing of reserves and sportfields, and the basketball showcourt at the Croydon Leisure and Aquatic Centre .
Chief executive of the Eastern Football League Rob Sharpe would not comment on the council's decisions except to say he supported the "extremely worthwhile" Mullum Mullum pavilion project. He said it was up to the council to determine priorities for projects.
Maroondah Council's director of corporate services Marianne Di Giallonardo said the council had "flexibility to reallocate funding as priorities change", thanks to its rolling three-year capital expenditure program.
"The priority for projects can vary for a number of reasons including community needs, external funding grants, other construction projects, weather patterns, and other unforeseen events/circumstances."
She said that as part of the proposal to construct the Mullum Mullum pavilion it was identified there were various projects which could be postponed or no longer needed, or that no longer required the amount of funding originally allocated.
The council would not say if the projects were delayed before the $700,000 was to be allocated.
Ms Di Giallonardo said there were still plans to renew the hard court tennis surfaces in the 2015-16 financial year — a year later than first thought.
She said the money for the upgrade was money well spent as the extension was a project that would benefit many sporting clubs and community groups.
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