STRUGGLING: A report to Ballina Shire Council's finance committee says a new building to replace Ballina SES's current headquarters (pictured) is one project which council is struggling to fund in its long term financial plan.
STRUGGLING: A report to Ballina Shire Council's finance committee says a new building to replace Ballina SES's current headquarters (pictured) is one project which council is struggling to fund in its long term financial plan.

Council on struggle street with funding for major projects

EVERY household has things to be done, but have to be put off until there's some cash in the bank.

It's no different with Ballina Shire Council, which has published a list of major projects considered essential that, according to a staff report to Tuesday's finance committee meeting, council is "struggling to fund in the Long Term Financial Plan."

The total value of the works easily adds up to millions of dollars.

The struggle street list includes the relocation of the Lennox Head Rural Fire Service shed and a new building for the Ballina State Emergency Service unit.

Both these projects for the volunteer emergency service units have been in the pipeline for many years.

The multi-million-dollar duplication of River St, turning the road from two lanes to four, along with the duplication of Tamarind Dr, also makes the list.

These works are part of a major project to relieve the traffic congestion in Ballina, with council preferring this option now rather than the planned, but more expensive, Western Arterial Road.

Youth on the Plateau have been crying out for a skate park for more than 15 years.

But work on the Wollongbar District Park, which includes the skate park, is on the list.

There are plans to widen the runway at Ballina airport to make way for larger commercial aircraft, but that project also is on struggle street.

Other projects short of cash are the refurbishment of the Alstonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre, upgrade's to Lennox Head's main street, and coastal management plans for Lake Ainsworth and Shaws Bay, including dredging.

A report will be delivered to the April finance committee meeting on funding options "for the various non-recurrent capital projects that council has identified as priorities."

"From a financial management perspective, council should always give priority to investing funds in the renewal of existing infrastructure, prior to delivering new infrastructure that increases the asset maintenance liability," staff report.

The list has been published as part of a report on the Ballina Ocean Pool.

Staff report there has been no funding allocation to the ocean pool for construction or maintenance, and council's support for the project is based on no financial contribution.