Sports facilities upgrade in budget

FUNDING will be provided for upgrades at two local sporting facilities.

The Gordon Street Recreation Reserve in Heyfield and Maffra Recreation Reserve will receive council support for their proposed upgrades in this year’s budget, but Sale’s Stephenson Park will have to wait.

At its meeting last Tuesday February 5, council resolved to consider in its budget process funding for resurfacing the Gordon Street reserve tennis courts at a cost of $150,000 and a $250,000 upgrade of lighting at Maffra Recreation Reserve.

Council has made funding application to the State Government’s Community Facilities Funding Program for $75,000 for the tennis courts, with the tennis club contributing $25,000, requiring a council contribution of $50,000. The success of this application should be known in the next two months.

Maffra Recreation Reserve’s proposed lighting upgrade meets the criteria for the State Government’s Country Football and Netball Program.

All funding through Sport and Recreation Victoria requires co-contribution from council or the sporting clubs, and as the project was identified in council’s Recreation Reserve Master-planning process an application for the lighting upgrade was submitted to SRV on January 31.

If that application is successful council will need to find $100,000 in its 2013/14 budget, to be matched by $50,000 from the clubs utilising the recreation reserve.

The proposal to upgrade Stephenson Park’s lighting system hit an electrical infrastructure problem, needing a full power supply upgrade to cater for the project’s increased power requirements.

That means the total cost of the project would exceed the SRV funding threshold.

Consequently council has resolved to consider allocating $39,000 in the 2013/14 budget to upgrade the power supply at Stephenson Park.

The Sale City Football-Netball Club would contribute $26,000 to the power supply upgrade making a total of $65,000.

If the power supply upgrade project is undertaken the lighting upgrade project cost would then be within the SRV’s threshold. Council could then submit an application to SRV for funding of $100,000 in future years.

In proposing council adopt the recommendation to consider the projects in the 2013/14 budget Cr Darren McCubbin said the matter was somewhat procedural as council had already put in applications for two of the projects.

“Gordon St tennis court resurfacing has been up for some time and the community is very hopeful of obtaining funding for that and the recreation reserve lighting upgrade has been an ongoing issue for the community for some time, and council is again hopeful Sport and Recreation Victoria will provide the funding for it,” he said.

“This is part of council’s commitment that if funding is available through SRV that we will go through the budget process of ensuring that the money is allocated . . . so we can bring these (projects) to fruition.”