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Jer­ilderie projects ear­marked for merger fund spend

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At least three ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects in Jer­ilderie may be con­sid­ered un­der the Stronger Com­mu­ni­ties Fund spend­ing for Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil.

Up to $9 mil­lion in NSW Gov­ern­ment fund­ing has been al­lo­cated to the newly merged coun­cil — in­cor­po­rat­ing the for­mer Jer­ilderie and Mur­rumbidgee shire coun­cils — for large scale projects.

The merged coun­cil’s in­terim gen­eral man­ager Craig Mof­fitt said while the dis­tri­bu­tion of funds has not yet been formerly dis­cussed, at least three projects of the for­mer Jer­ilderie Shire Coun­cil will be put for­ward.

They in­clude new net­ball courts at Monash Park, the Jer­ilderie swim­ming pool re­fur­bish­ment and up­grades to the wa­ter fil­tra­tion plant.

Com­bined, the projects are ex­pected to cost at least $2 mil­lion.

‘‘We have not re­ceived any for­mal sug­ges­tions for the in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing as yet, but we are putting to­gether a list that will be dis­cussed at a coun­cil meet­ing next week,’’ Mr Mof­fitt said yes­ter­day.

‘‘The Jer­ilderie projects were all projects of the for­mer coun­cil.

‘‘I have also heard talk of fore­shore works at Dar­ling­ton Point and the con­struc­tion of a lake, sim­i­lar to that at Jer­ilderie, in Coleam­bally.’’

Mr Mof­fitt said the largest of the projects to be con­sid­ered for Jer­ilderie is the wa­ter fil­tra­tion plant, which he ex­pects will cost about $1.3 mil­lion.

‘‘We need to dou­ble the ca­pac­ity of the plant,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not be­cause it does not meet ca­pac­ity needs, but be­cause it only has a sin­gle fil­ter.

‘‘The fil­ter is back­wash­ing more of­ten, and we can’t turn it off for too long.’’

Ex­pected to cost ‘‘up to $1 mil­lion’’, Mr Mof­fitt said the planned works for the swim­ming pool may in­clude scope for some ex­cit­ing ad­di­tions.

‘‘The pool needs re­fur­bish­ment, which will be­come ur­gent in the near fu­ture,’’ he said.

‘‘We will re­quire an en­gi­neer’s anal­y­sis of the struc­ture, and we will prob­a­bly also need a new fil­tra­tion plant and pipeworks.

‘‘There may even be an op­por­tu­nity to add an­cil­lary gear, like per­haps a splash park, but that has not yet been dis­cussed.’’

Coun­cil’s fund­ing re­quire­ments for the net­ball courts is not yet known, with the Jer­ilderie Foot­ball and Net­ball Club al­ready hav­ing some of the $300,000 project cost in re­serves.

Mr Mof­fitt said it will be a com­plete re­build of the courts.

Apart from the $9 mil­lion for large scale projects, there is also $1 mil­lion from the Stronger Com­mu­ni­ties Fund for dis­tri­bu­tion to not-for-profit groups for com­mu­nity projects. Groups will be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for grants of up to $50,000.

Mr Mof­fitt said let­ters will be go­ing out to com­mu­nity groups within the next week to ad­vise them of the ap­pli­ca­tion de­tails.

‘‘It was a state gov­ern­ment di­rec- tive that at least $1 mil­lion be put aside for this purpose, but coun­cil can al­lo­cate more if there is a re­quire­ment,’’ he said.

‘‘But $1 mil­lion is at least 20 projects.’’

Merged on May 12 as part of a NSW Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to make coun­cils ‘Fit for the Fu­ture’, Mr Mof­fitt said he’s so far pleased with the tran­si­tion process.

Com­mu­nity meet­ings to dis­cuss the changes were held across the new coun­cil area last week.

Mr Mof­fitt said at least 50 peo­ple at­tended the meet­ing in Jer­ilderie on Wed­nes­day.

‘‘It seems we’re set­tling into the new en­tity quite well, and the com­mu­nity was very pos­i­tive,’’ he said.

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