Shoalhaven News

Council defers funding decision on Berry & Broughton Vale Rural Fire Station

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At last nights Extra Ordinary meeting of Shoalhaven City Council, Council resolved to defer the determination of whether Council will provide $400,000 in funding to the building of the Berry and Broughton Vale Rural Fire Station.

Funding for the RFS is traditionally provided through an 11.7 percent Council contribution, 12 percent State Government contribution and the remainder contributed through insurance companies via the Fire Services Levy.

In previous years, Council has contributed over $980,000 to the RFS with $1.3 Million contributed in 2016.

Councillor Greg Watson was furious about the deferral and wanted the issue resolved last night.

"This gallery is almost full of Rural Fire Service members who all believe that they're not getting the level of support that they should get in respect of this project from our Council", Councillor Watson said.

"And I agree with that", he said.

"Madam Mayor if you vote against this it'll be a mark against you forever".

The matter will now be discussed at next Tuesday's Ordinary meeting.

Further details below from Council:

Council has always contributed towards the RFS and our volunteers.

Council continues to support the important work that the RFS provides for our community.

There is currently over $2.9M in unfunded Council resolutions and requests for this financial year, by adding an additional $400,000 to this year’s budget it would take Council’s deficit to above $7M dollars.

This deferral will allow for Council staff to consider and provide a number of options, for Councillors at the next Ordinary Meeting, to determine alternative methods of funding the proposal.

Further discussions will occur as part of the budget considerations to be brought before Council next week.

Photo and story: Andrew Page