October 29 Council meeting notes

Published: 29 Oct 2018 7:04pm

Lake Albert ultrasound trial to target algae

The use of ultrasound technology to help control blue green algae in Lake Albert has been endorsed by Wagga Wagga City Council.

Council agreed at its 29 October meeting to support a trial of the Envirosonic Ultrasound algal control units in a bid to control blooms at the lake.

Council will receive a subsequent report in 12 months on the performance of the trial including recommendations on whether to purchase the installed system.

The performance of the ultrasound technology for algal control will be gauged against weekly sampling lab results and set alert levels (green, amber, red).

It said controlling algae with ultrasound is an environmentally-friendly technology that is harmless to fish and plants.

The units are solar powered and will be installed on pontoons anchored to the bottom of the lake.

Council will undertake community consultation relating to the project and will provide guidance on safety management in relation to lake users when the buoys are located on the lake.

Discussions to bring AFLW to Wagga Wagga

Council will work with the AFL to bring an AFLW premiership match to the city in the future.

If negotiations are successful, Council will enter into an agreement with the AFL to bring the women’s competition to the City of Good Sports.

Museum of the Riverina redevelopment project

A detailed design for the $3.4M redevelopment of the Museum of the Riverina’s Botanic Gardens site will soon get underway.

Councillors voted to accept Panovscott Pty Ltd’s tender of $166,360 for the detailed design stage of the redevelopment.

The project is the result of a long-term investigation, which brings together practical solutions that will contribute toward the management, care and access to our cultural heritage collections in Wagga Wagga.

Key parts of the redevelopment are an extension to the current building, modifications to the existing building and site landscaping.

The redevelopment has three goals:

  • Increase and enhance collection storage spaces;
  • Improve visitor access and experience, improved displays and community engagement spaces
  • Improve staff and volunteer workspaces.

Council resolved at its 12 June meeting this year to accept NSW Government funding of $3,188,383 to deliver the redevelopment. This amount was met with $220,000 in Council funding.

The redevelopment is scheduled to be finished in mid-2020.

Plans to transform Gregadoo Waste Management Centre

Council is planning the transformation of Gregadoo Waste Management Centre (GWMC) with a series of initiatives to make better use of the resources, improve the safety and efficiency of the site and to value add to existing processing of received waste materials to recycle.

The plan outlines a whole of precinct plan to position equipment and facilities to maximise the life of the site, provide a safe environment for all users and staff, maximise usability, efficiency and value for the Wagga community.

Council resolved to proceed to tender to on three different projects.

  • To receive and process biosolids at an estimated cost of $350,000
  • To extend the gas capture network and supply and install a gas powered evaporator at an estimated cost of $1M
  • To construct an access road at an estimated cost of $810,000

Council also accepted a $200,000 grant to construct an EPA Community Recycling Centre (CRC) at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre, which will allow a range of items to be recycled such as paint, gas bottles, oils and more.

Stage 2 of Riverside project moves forward

The transformation of the Murrumbidgee River waterfront at Wagga Beach has taken another step forward with the design of Stage 2 to now get underway.

Stage 2 of the Riverside project will see the entire precinct from the beach carpark through to St Michael’s Oval rejuvenated, building on the success of the Stage 1 works completed in 2014-15.

At the October 29 Ordinary Council Meeting, GHD Pty Ltd was awarded the $293,337 tender to design the more than $6M project.

Main City Levee upgrade

The second stage of one of the city’s most important infrastructure projects, the Main City Levee Upgrade, will get underway this year after Council tonight agreed to enter into a contract with the preferred tenderer.

Long-term FOGO tender appointed

Worm Tech Pty Ltd will continue to process Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) material on a two-year contract with three one-year options.

Wagga Wagga City Council’s new kerbside waste service was rolled out in April, with waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, egg shells and dairy products able to be disposed of in the green-lid bin, along with garden waste.

Worm Tech Pty Ltd have been processing FOGO material into high quality compost at its Carrathool site on a short-term contract while Council negotiated a long-term arrangement with a number of interested businesses.

Council records net operating surplus 2017-18

Wagga Wagga City Council’s 2017/18 draft Annual Financial Statements have recently been audited by the NSW Audit Office.

The 2017/18 draft financial statements show Council is overall in a good financial position, recording a preliminary net operating surplus of $22.1M.

In 2017/18 the total income from continuing operations of $146.8M and total expenses from continuing operations of $124.7M.

As of 30 June 2018, Council held $36.8M in internal reserves, an increase of $1.1M on the previous year.

The draft statements also showed Council’s rates outstanding percentage has fallen to 4.82 per cent following Council’s focus on debt management in recent years.

The Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee congratulated staff for the quality of the reports.

Council to assist community groups

Council has agreed to requests to provide two community groups with financial assistance.

The assistance is provided to:

  • The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service: $1298 for room hire, event catering costs and library staff costs related to a book launch focused on domestic violence during the White Ribbon Campaign.
  • The Riverina Pregnancy and Baby Loss Support Group (Bloss): $85 to waive the hire fee for staging a Remembrance Walk at the Victory Memorial Gardens on 14 October this year.

Land offer to go on public exhibition

A Voluntary Planning Agreement for land in Genista Place, Springvale will be placed on public exhibition.

Council has been offered 8.33 hectares of land in lieu of being paid the Section 94 developer contributions associated with the development (DA17/0572).

The land to be dedicated to Council under the offer includes two sections of the Wiradjuri walking track.

The developer has agreed to donate the land in exchange for the waiving of the Section 94 developer contributions, which is a net asset value increase for Council of $51,045. The value of the land is $125,000 and the contributions due are approximately $73,955.

The exhibition period is 28 days from 3 November to 1 December 2018.