Published on 01 June 2023
Winter is officially upon us, although it has felt like winter every day since the start of May!
At the April Council meeting, all Councillors gave the Crago Mill Precinct funding program the green light after a competitive tendering process to choose a loan provider. The council will offset the $50M loan by seeking grants and the sale of surplus land from its portfolio of current land holdings. No SRV (special rates variation) is proposed as part of the decision.
In February 2020, Council identified several infrastructure projects for the Yass Valley and resolved to undertake planning and design work so the projects would be ‘shovel-ready’ in the event of grant funding opportunities. Council identified the Crago Mill Precinct as one of the main priorities for the preparation of ‘shovel-ready’ plans.
The project involves the enhancement and conversion of the former Crago flour mill, in the centre of Yass. The precinct will include:
- A world-class library with a children’s area and study centre.
- Community meeting rooms.
- Small business centre/work hub.
- Space for long-term government tenants and community groups
- Public amenities
- On-site carpark; and
- New Council administration building and Council chamber.
I was pleased to join our local MP, Wendy Tuckerman and members and supporters of YASS FM 100.3, to assist them in creating a crowd funding video. YASS FM is embarking on a fundraising campaign to build their planned new studio adjacent to the Yass Community Centre and Yass Men’s Shed.
Staffed entirely by volunteers our Yass radio station has provided an exceptional service to the community for over twenty years and is deserving of our support in their efforts to establish a new and permanent studio building. I urge everyone in our community to get behind them.
I would also like to express my appreciation to Wendy Tuckerman and the NSW Government for the $422,171 in funding under Round Five of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. Our local Yass Roo’s AFL team were also pleased with the announcement with the funding being used to upgrade field lighting at Joe O’Connor Park.
It was a sad Monday morning waking up to the news of the Commercial Hotel being burnt down on 22 May. In its heyday the Commercial Hotel was regarded as the best hotel in the southern district, hosting at least two Governor Generals – Lord Belmore (in 1868 and 1871) and Lord Carrington (1888) and well-known individuals such as aviator Charles Kingsford-Smith and his family. The Hotel was the centre of social life, and the balcony hosted a wide range of gatherings from would be politicians appealing to the locals gathered below and the first official send-off for local men who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914.
A reminder that Councils Heritage Grants program is now open and we are accepting applications from the community. Local Heritage Grants aim to contribute to the preservation of structures of historical value and to foster positive attitudes towards heritage and conservation. We encourage you to apply if you meet the program criteria. More information and the application form can be found on Councils website, applications close 5pm Monday, 26 June 2023.
The month of May has been a busy one for both staff and Councillors as we prepare and present the 2023/24 IP&R documents to the community. The documents include the proposed budget, rates, fees and charges, projects, and programs for the 2023/24 period and are great resources to help residents understand how Council operates. The draft documents are available to view on Councils website and submissions are open until 5pm Friday, 9 June 2023.
I had the privilege of being invited to read to 85 school children and teachers at the Yass Memorial Hall to celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime. Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is reading simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, and many other places around the country. This year the book was The Speedy Sloth written by Rebecca Young. The event was finished off with a few activities including the Hokey Pokey.
If you follow me on Facebook, you will see that I have been eagerly documenting the progress of the new Riverbank Park Playground. The equipment and play space are coming together nicely, keep an eye out on Councils Facebook Page for official opening details.