IT is no secret the Nambucca Shire Council is strapped for cash, so the length of debate about whether it should accept a $50,000 grant came as a surprise at its meeting last Thursday.
At question was not that the money was needed but rather would it go far enough to getting the job of restoring the Argents Hill Hall done.
The community hall west of Bowraville, of which the council is trustee, has been closed since July 2008 after council staff ruled it was unsafe, and among other things needed re-stumping and contained asbestos.
Council has estimated the cost of restoring it is around $130,000 but the Argents Hill Hall Committee has secured a $50,000 State Government grant and claims it has the volunteer commitment to at least get it to the stage where it can be re-opened.
The council’s general manager Michael Coulter said because of the size and complexity of the restoration project his staff don’t want to be involved.
“I admire the enthusiasm of the committee and so believe if they want to take this on they should be prepared to accept delegated authority or become the trustees of the hall,” Mr Coulter said.
Cr Brian Finlayson said he preferred to see the hall demolished and replaced.
“I’m worried that the committee won’t get the work done with the $50,000 they have been granted,” Cr Finlayson said.