Maroondah City Council has endorsed the draft Community Facilities Occupancy Policy and the draft Community Facilities Pricing Policy for public display.
The policies were presented at the Council meeting on September 20.
Council currently owns or manages more than 100 sports fields, pavilions, halls, meeting rooms and other facilities on behalf of the community.
Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin said the draft policies were developed concurrently and were directly aligned.
“The draft policies provide a comprehensive framework for the community use of Council owned or managed facilities,” Cr Makin said.
“The draft Community Facilities Occupancy Policy and the draft Community Facilities Pricing Policy will guide the process of determining appropriate occupancy agreements and pricing structures for all Council owned or managed facilities and ensure the agreements are consistent and transparent,” Cr Makin said.
“The draft policies aim to establish clear frameworks so the community groups know what they are paying for, why they are paying and that other users groups in similar situations are contributing in a consistent manner,” Cr Makin said.
“Under the draft Community Facilities Occupancy Policy community groups wishing to use Council owned or managed facilities will have to undergo an assessment to determine the suitability of the proposed arrangement and the length of tenure. Once this assessment has taken place Council will then discuss the rate of rental,” Cr Makin said.
“There are two existing policies relating to the occupancy and the pricing of community facilities, however these policies have not been updated for a number of years. During this time there has been changes to legislation, increased emphasis on risk management and occupational health and safety requirements and changes to the way the groups are using the facilities,” Cr Makin said.
“To meet these new needs Council has also reassessed the pricing structure associated with the use of Council facilities. The current pricing structure has been in place for the past 11 years and was established with the intention that Council could recover an estimated 30 per cent of facility maintenance costs,” Cr Makin said.
“In the past 11 years that margin has dropped significantly and Council is currently recovering on average 3 per cent of maintenance costs for the sporting grounds and 15 per cent for the pavilions,” Cr Makin said.
“Council believes the sporting grounds and community facilities are integral to the development of a strong community, which is why we subsidise and support the many groups which use them,” Cr Makin said.
“We need to have a system in place which allows for the reasonable, transparent and equitable use of these facilities,” Cr Makin said.
The policies cover most Council owned facilities or grounds including:
- Council Owned Community Halls
- Community Centres
- Senior Citizens Centres
- Sporting Pavilions
- Sports Grounds and sporting activity surfaces
- Scout and Guide Halls
- Facilities managed by Council Committees of Management
- Maroondah Federation Estate
The draft policies will be on public display until October 26. Those wanting to make a submission must do so before this date. Following consideration of the submissions the policies will be amended where appropriate and Council endorsement will be sought.
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