Closing date extended for comment on facilities policy
The closing date for submissions to Central Coast Council's review of the use and management of community facilities has been extended to Tuesday, June 30.
The council's Draft Facilities Leasing and Licensing policy covers arts and cultural facilities, childcare facilities, community centres, community halls, recreation and aquatic centres, senior citizens centres, sports ground buildings and facilities, tennis facilities and youth centres.
The draft policy includes eight lease and licence categories from "local community groups" to "large not-for-profit provider of community services", "recreation club" including incorporated associations, registered clubs and/or registered charities.
Other categories include "government entity providing community services" and "commercial business".
When the lessee or tenant is a local community group or local community sporting group, Council will subsidise 100 per cent of the market rent if the draft policy is adopted in its current form.
Other not-for-profits will be required to pay between five and 10 per cent of market rent and other lessee categories will be expected to pay 100 per cent of market rent.
The length of a lease or licence in the draft policy is proposed to be five years unless the tenant or lessee has documented evidence it proposes to spend over $50,000 on facility renewal or upgrade, in which case the term is 10 years.
Community groups and community sporting groups will also be given 12-month's notice of the expiry of their agreement.
Council has published a process for determining how a new lease will be negotiated but tenure beyond the five or 10 year agreement is not guaranteed.
The draft policy clarifies that council will be responsible for paying land rates, maintaining a building insurance policy and fire safety compliance.
When community and sporting groups or not-for-profits are lessees their responsibilities include building contents insurance, $20 million public liability insurance, organising and paying for utilities, water and waste collection.
Council will remain the owner or manager of the land and any assets constructed upon it.
Other elements of the draft policy which may be of interest to residents include "new lease and licence agreements will not include as-of-right renewal options or entitlements to additional lease terms.
"Proposed large investments into or onto Council-owned or managed assets may be subject to specific detailed agreements between Council and the proponent.
According to the council's Your Voice Our Coast website: "The purpose of the Community Facilities Review is to enable a consistent and transparent approach to the management, operation and planning of Council's community facilities.
"The review focused on the use and management of community facilities that operate under lease, licence, hire and volunteer models.
"In 2019, a number of workshops with tenants and community groups were held to help identify challenges and opportunities for these community facilities.
"We also heard from the broader community via an online survey.
"The feedback received has helped us to develop our Draft Facilities Leasing and Licensing Policy and identify operational recommendations and areas of improvement."
The stated purpose of the policy is "to provide a clear, consistent and equitable approach to the leasing, licensing and management of Council-owned facilities and land".
The Draft Facilities Leasing and Licensing Policy will be exhibited and submissions will be received until 5pm on Tuesday, June 30.
Submissions should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer and will be accepted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by post to PO Box 21, Gosford NSW 2250, or online.
Website, 10 Jun 2020
Draft Facilities Policy, Central Coast Council