MidCoast Council has endorsed the financial strategy for the move to Biripi Way and now the community is to be consulted.
The strategy indicated the $20 million project, which will see almost 350 staff move to the former Masters site, will be paid for through cash reserves, property sales and loan borrowings.
Community information sessions will be held in Forster, Taree and Gloucester from November 22 to 27.
“The financing strategy makes it clear there will be no special rate variation required for this project, and we will not be touching any operational funds so things such as the $100 million road program will continue to be delivered to our community as planned,” council’s general manager Adrian Panuccio, explained.
Mr Panuccio outlined the $20 million would be made up from $7.2 million from cash reserves (funds saved from the merger), $4.8 million from the sale of property assets, and $8 million in loans.
Loans would be repaid by funds gained from leasing current administration buildings.
Mr Panuccio also indicated the centralisation of administrative functions to the new site would not impact on customer service arrangements for the community.
“Currently customer service centres are provided at Taree, Forster, Gloucester, Tea Gardens and Stroud. This level of service would continue with the relocation to Biripi Way.
“The Taree customer service centre would be relocated to Biripi Way and the Forster customer service centre would be provided at the new civic precinct in Lake Street, Forster which is scheduled for occupation in September 2020.”
MidCoast Council will now start a program of engagement with the community to gain feedback on impacts of the centralisation and the funding model.
From Monday, November 5 a range of information will be available on the council website and residents will receive information in their mailbox on the project over the coming weeks.