5 parks that could be sold off for housing
Five "unused" parks in the Casino area could be sold off to make way for much-needed housing.
Richmond Valley Council recently conducted a facilities needs review and, after further investigation, short-listed five parcels of community land that were suitable "to be considered for reclassification (to operational land) and potential disposal".
The sites are RSM Park, Dan Phelan Park, Sunnyside Park, Melaleuca Park and Russell Park.
At the ordinary meeting this week, councillors voted to start the statutory process to reclassify these parks.
This will involve community consultation.
In his report on the issue, the council's manager of property and economic projects, Mike Perkins, said the council managed about 351ha of green space, including sporting fields, parks, playgrounds, streetscapes and environmental reserves.
"The expense associated with the maintenance of these areas is a significant cost for council," he wrote.
"There is high demand for residential land in Casino and an opportunity to use any funds from sale of surplus community land to invest in upgrading facilities that have high community usage.
"It is estimated that the sale of the lots created would net approximately $100,000 each once costs are deducted.
"From the five parcels proposed to be reclassified six residential lots could be created, netting a total of approximately $600,000 once costs are deducted."
The reclassification and disposal of the parks would also save the council around $11,000 in maintenance and mowing costs.
Mayor Robert Mustow said it could be a win-win situation.
"This is excess land that council just mows, and when I drive around I very rarely see anyone using them (the parks)," he said.
"Maybe they could be sold for housing or other uses and that money could be put into facilities and assets for the community to enjoy in other areas.
"In saying that, this is just the start of the program and there will be a lot of community consultation for adjoining landowners and other people in the area.
"I think that needs to be made quite clear, we will be seeking feedback.
"Lismore actually recently went down this road and sold some surplus land and I think they supplied some wonderful assets … hopefully we can do the same."