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Benalla Rural City Council questions CFA site development

Councillor Peter Davis to meet with CFA to discuss the station refurbishment, questioning spending so much money on a building in the tourism precinct.

LIBBY PRICE July 17, 2014 3:34am

Benalla Rural City Council wants to meet with local and regional representatives of the CFA to discuss the development of the CFA site on the corner of Carrier St and Fawckner Dve.

The fire station is already fully-funded for renovations. The front half will be knocked down and replaced with a Colorbond front with updated accommodation for the trucks, the office and the control centre. The old shed at the rear of the site will be demolished and a new shed built which opens to the rear fire truck parking area. The Benalla CFA is trying to raise $7000 towards the shed refurbishment with the remaining $21000 already committed from the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Project.

At last week’s council meeting it was resolved that the mayor, chief executive officer and council’s development manager would meet with the CFA to discuss the future development of the CFA site in relation to the future development of properties in Fawckner Dve and Lowry Place.

Councillor Peter Davis said significant works were being planned and, ‘‘... a considerable amount of money is being spent in Fawckner Dve. We need to be writing to the Fire Services Commissioner about what the CBD is going to look like and maybe look at relocating (the CFA).

‘‘Most towns don’t have services in town ... We’ve started revitalising the CBD (central business district). Will there be obstacles to the development of that site?’’

Cr Davis later told the Ensign he didn’t want to be on a collision course with the CFA, but a long-term strategy was vital.

‘‘We don’t want the state government to say in a few years’ time, ‘You have to relocate’, and for the CFA to say, ‘Well, hang on, we’ve just spent all this money’.

‘‘The ambulance and police offices are just as bad. You don’t need these services in the middle of town. We need to make it safer for older people.’’

Benalla CFA group officer Jim Ranken has spoken with Cr Davis and informed him any discussions need to be with operations manager Stewart Kreltszheim.Fundraiser to help with shed rebuild

The concert Flaming Fiddles Raise the Roof will be held at Swanpool on Sunday, August 3 with tickets on sale at next Saturday’s Benalla lakeside market.

More details on page 16.

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