Air­con for Grove li­brary

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western opinion - By JON BAS­SETT

AIR­CON­DI­TION­ING for the chil­dren at The Grove li­brary and public art will be bought af­ter a re­view of the 2014-15 bud­get at Pep­per­mint Grove Coun­cil since March.

“We’ve pur­chased some art from Bather’s Beach in Fre­man­tle, and will be in­stalling it later,” chief ex­ec­u­tive John Mer­rick said.

At last month’s meet­ing, coun­cil­lors agreed to buy the $19,000 air­con­di­tion­ing and $10,000 of art in changes to spend­ing and in­come plans that end this month.

The re­view found in­come from plan­ning and build­ing charges had added $25,000 to the $60,000 ex­pected from con­struc­tion fees 12 months ago.

Mr Mer­rick said more homes were built than ex­pected in 2014-15.

How­ever, the coun­cil spent $25,000 more on town plan­ning legal fees, in ad­di­tion to the $48,520 ini­tially al­lot­ted.

Mr Mer­rick said the ex­tra costs were a re­sult of the lawyers’ ad­vice needed for a new town plan­ning scheme, the fight over de­mo­li­tion of Rad­hika Oswal’s un­fin­ished man­sion and other in­com­plete prop­er­ties.

“For the 2015-16 bud­get, we ex­pect to go back to a rel­a­tively nor­mal amount, but will be adding about $10,000 to the usual $20,000 for plan­ning legal fees,” he said.

The coun­cil got $17,000 less than the $35,000 it es­ti­mated for hir­ing the West­coast Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at The Grove, but Mr Mer­rick said the coun­cil was un­likely to change its pol­icy of who could use the fa­cil­ity.

“There is a lot more com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket­place for sim­i­lar places, and we are se­lec­tive of what hap­pens there,” he said.

He said the re­view would not af­fect rates in­creases, but would not com­ment on what could be de­cided in cur­rent 2015-16 bud­get talks.

The public art will be in­stalled later this month, while the air­con­di­tion­ing will need to be in­stalled be­fore sum­mer.

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