THE Bass Coast Shire Council will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars more into the region if councillors accept a raft of changes to the Draft Budget 2017-18.
After months of community consultation, the council has unveiled a range of measures in an attempt to satisfy residents, including $650,000 for designs and costings for the rest of the Cowes Cultural Centre redevelopment.
The redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural Centre has been at the centre of recent debate, after many residents voiced concerns about the leasing of office space to Phillip Island Nature Parks.
The council has also proposed more funding, up to $110,000, for the Phillip Island Football and Netball clubrooms and $30,000 to help get the YES Youth Hub up and running.
Councillors will decide on Wednesday at their ordinary meeting if the proposed changes will be accepted.
For Bass Coast’s youth, council has proposed setting aside $30,000 for the position of Youth Officer at the YES Youth Hub.
Earlier this month, YES Youth Hub project coordinator Michael Feehan and steering committee member Dr Penny Mitchell called on councillors to fund the hub and to do more for young people, rather than just listen to them.
The Department of Health and Human Services has allocated $41,200 to the YES Youth Hub to run over 12 months.
The council has also proposed to add to their strategic outcomes a focus on “jobs of the future for today’s youth”.
The council will throw an extra $10,000 at roadside vegetation management, and set aside $30,000 to move the Cape Paterson Bay Beach Development Plan from concept to detailed design.
Council will use $300,000 in the Skate Parks Reserve to undertake new works and upgrades on skate parks.
This is in addition to $80,000 each for the Inverloch Hub skatepark and Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve skatepark.
But where did the money come from? The council has managed to add the projects into the budget without drastically changing the bottom line.
The State Government is mostly responsible for helping make the changes happen, after it decided to fully fund the State Emergency Services (SES), increase funding for school crossing supervisors and change a formula for council grants, in total resulting in $502,000 of savings.
The council has also pulled back on the scope of the Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve capital project, reducing the project’s costs by nearly $270,000.
Bass Coast Mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield said the council has been able to build on the proposed Draft Budget 2017-18 and Council Plan 2017-21 based on the aspirations of the community, and following “passionate” submissions made by community members.