Winter is Coming: Orange Mayor Jason Hamling’s Temporary Indoor Playground Plan Gets the Green Light | West Central Daily

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MAYOR Jason Hamling’s plan to have a temporary indoor playground operational for this winter became a reality this week with unanimous support at the Orange City Council meeting. Council staff will now issue a call for expressions of interest to manage the facility after Tuesday’s meeting decided to secure a site for a period of four months from May 1 and guarantee equipment hire . While giving him full approval at the end, several councilors raised their concerns with Cr Jack Evans asking for an amendment to stop the council from renting equipment, which was rejected, while Cr Tony Mileto was also concerned about finances. Cr Frances Kinghorne also raised the possible impact a council-run facility can have on anyone trying to establish a private indoor play centre. However, Cr Hamling said the indoor playground was meant to provide a service. “People need to understand that we’re not trying to build a business here, we’re trying to build something for this winter,” he said Wednesday. “We’re not trying to compete with anyone, far from it, hopefully a private company will come out of the woodwork and hopefully the Council can help them open up and then we’ll close ours. ” Cr Mel McDonell, Cr David Mallard and Deputy Mayor Gerald Power said the playground was what the community wanted, conveyed not just by the local government election process in December, but by polls and community consultations across the framework of the community strategic plan currently being drafted. “If you look at the data, Orange’s growth is in young families,” Cr Power said. “We have to make sure it gets done.” Cr Mileto said he felt detailed information was needed, first on the availability of a four month lease and then on the cost of running the center for four months. “We’re looking at contributing $7,500 a week plus rent, or $9,000 a week,” he said. “That’s about $150,000 to $160,000 a year. The amount we’re spending is what we’ll be spending on trails next year. “Are we going to give it up and wait until next year when commercial operators take relay?” Director of Community, Recreation and Cultural Services Scott Maunder told the meeting that there was commercial interest in setting up an indoor play facility, but that it was unlikely to it is running in time for this winter Cr Hamling said providing the indoor play area is not just about the children and he added that providing the service is part of living in a community where their children can go out and socialize with other mums.” It’s also about their well-being. “Everything costs money, as advice we provide a service. “It’s part of living in a community.” Cr Hamling said council staff would come up with a model for the installation after the EOI is finalized. To read more stories, download the Central Western Daily news app from the Apple Store or Google Play.


Harold B. McConnell