A short term two-year caretaker contract is to be put in place at Corowa’s Ball Park Caravan Park at the end of the current lease term of June 30, 2018.
Federation Council, which is the Committee of Management for the large parcel of Crown Land, decided on the action at its monthly December 19 meeting, on the motion of Crs Paul Miegel and Gail Law.
The Ball Park Caravan Park lease includes operation of the Corowa Swimming Pool which is almost at the end of its operational life. Council has been continuing to plan and raise funds for a new swimming pool. But a new pool may not eventuate now until the summer of 2019/20.
A report by consultants Otium Planning Group identified to council a number of matters that could compromise the best outcome being achieved by council if it was to progress towards offering another long-term lease of Ball Park Caravan Park.
Council engaged Otium Planning Group to complete a study on the park and the swimming pool to help provide council with a clear direction regarding future development and operational models of both facilities. The consultants made a presentation at a council workshop on November 27 but their report was not included with the December meeting agenda as it contains commercially sensitive information.
“While the report also recommends that council would be best placed to offer a long-term lease in order to enable the attraction of significant private investment in the caravan park by an operator, there are currently a number of unknowns, which may compromise the response to any tender for a long-term lease,” Federation Council’s Director Corporate and Community Services Kristy Kay said.
These matters include what new swimming pool is to be constructed - to be determined by council - and business disruption from the pool’s construction.
“A new swimming pool will be a great asset to Ball Park Caravan Park and the report recommends that the lease should include the Corowa Swimming Pool,” Ms Kay said.
“The report also identifies significant operational savings and business opportunity that could be achieved through the better integration of the swimming pool complex with the caravan park.”
Council’s resolution is designed for it to collect detailed revenue and occupancy data over the next two seasons whilst it also looks at, and confirms, its final facility development and funding strategies.
Regarding swimming pool replacement, once a final option is chosen by council, it is estimated it will take 18 months to two years before a new facility is likely to be operational.
“This could see a new pool open around November 2019,” Ms Kay said. Her prediction is based on several factors, including the grant funding of $M2.5 setting out the condition the project be completed prior to the end of 2019.
“It may be possible to limit the time Corowa is without a swimming pool to one season,” Ms Kay said.
At its December meeting, council also decided, on the motion of Crs Fred Longmire and Shaun Whitechurch, to give the current contractor the opportunity to address council if so desired.
A further report is to be provided to council which summarises the development options and funding implications of the Corowa Swimming Pool.