Cash for council to splash

By Southern Riverina News

Berrigan Shire residents will benefit from a funding injection for infrastructure programs through the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Berrigan Shire Council will receive $786,309 of $22 million allocated for western NSW communities in round three of the program.

General manager Rowan Perkins said council officers were working through the amended guidelines to identify council and community projects which met funding requirements.

‘‘Council will, in the coming weeks, finalise a list of projects and in doing so will seek community comment and feedback,’’ Mr Perkins said.

In the first two rounds of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, council was given just one month to have its plans lodged.

Berrigan Shire Council director corporate services Matt Hansen said they will have more time to work out a plan this time.

‘‘We have a deadline of September to lodge our plans for the fund, which is much more time than the previous rounds. Previously we had only one month until the deadline day.’’

Berrigan Shire will meet tonight to discuss priorities for the third round of funding.

Mr Hansen said there were already a few projects on the agenda for council.

‘‘A project that I think will be considered heavily is finishing the Barooga Adventure Park,’’ he said.

‘‘Other projects under consideration include replacing the Finley War Memorial Swimming Pool amenities, the sealing of the internal roads of both the Finley and Tocumwal Recreation Reserves and re-surfacing of the Tocumwal netball courts.

‘‘They will all be on the agenda to discuss, but we also welcome other applicants to come forward with their ideas.

‘‘The Stronger Country Communities Fund has been fantastic for us, particularly as we didn’t get any merger money like surrounding councils.

‘‘It’s allowed us to carry out projects that we may not have been able to otherwise, so we’re very appreciative of this.’’

Berrigan Shire received $2.2 million in round one and $1.4 million in round two. With round three, the investment in the local community is $4.39 million since 2017.

Applications for round three opened on Monday last week with successful projects announced from January.