As Bega Valley Shire Council prepares to vote on a possible special rate variation to cover the shire's six public pools, a last-minute deputation continues to pour cold water on the idea.
Former general manager David Jesson spoke before councillors at lunch on Wednesday, revealing yet another SRV that includes money for pools that has not been mentioned in any community consultation to this point.
Australian Community Media has previously reported on an SRV from 2008-09 that had a small component directed towards pools. It's understood this particular SRV has been raising between $70,000-90,000 a year for "recreation buildings and pools".
However, Mr Jesson said there appeared to be another SRV, this one from 2013, either forgotten about or left out of discussions by council in the current debate about pools funding.
"No mention is made of the 2013 SRV arising out of the asset management plan, which included for all six pools to be renewed - as opposed to upgraded. How much does the 2013 SRV yield annually in today's terms?" he asked council on Wednesday.
He called any further SRV as proposed by council staff as "a tax on two existing taxes".
"The question which presents itself here is, 'Is the six pool strategy financially viable?'
"If the answer is 'yes' then have a crack, but run with an option most affordable by the community who elected you to represent them. Good luck with that.
"If the answer is 'no' then cut your losses and consult with the entire community, not just with the six towns with pools, to develop a better strategy for a regional/rural shire in the 21st Century that reflects the needs, not wants.
"We all want bigger, better facilities in greater numbers - I get that argument. But it all gets back to resident and ratepayer affordability."
More to come
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