Albany council ticks yearly halls funds package

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
The City of Albany Administration and Civiv Centre building North Road Albany.
Camera IconThe City of Albany Administration and Civiv Centre building North Road Albany. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Rural community halls in the City of Albany will receive a funding boost of up to $5000 a year after a new communities grants program passed with unanimous support at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The Building Stronger Communities grants program will distribute funds among 14 rural community hall committees, such as in King River and Wellstead, to support maintenance works and community projects.

To support the program, $70,000 a year will be allocated in the City’s annual budget, starting from 2021-22, to be reviewed annually.

The vote comes after a motion was presented by Cr Sandie Smith, who said the program would establish a long-term source of funding for the important community assets.

She said the proposal built on an existing communities assistance program which was in the final year of a three-year trial and allocated $30,000 a year for similar projects, but was not budgeted for after 2021-2022.

“A Building Stronger Communities grants policy will ensure support into the future for community halls and also provide clarity of intent for future staff and councils,” Cr Smith said.

Seconding the motion, Cr Emma Doughty said it was important for the City to support community infrastructure in the same way it supported sport, which had “ample opportunity” for funding.

“We support our inner hub, but we forget about supporting our outer hub,” she said.

“They are also part of our City of Albany community so unless we do something to say we need a policy, we need a guideline, we need some funding, we are actually failing them.”

City staff will now develop a formal policy and guidelines to define what projects are eligible.

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