More funds sought to cover Reid Oval upgrade shortfall

THE state government is expected to be asked to cover the $60,000 shortfall holding up a long-awaited Reid Oval upgrade.

Warrnambool City Council is preparing to seek more funds from the state to ensure the planned netball facility redevelopment goes ahead.

The Standard yesterday revealed a funding blackhole of about $60,000 had opened up, stalling any work on erecting a new scoreboard, creating netball change rooms and completing netball court works. 

Costs associated with running electricity to the eastern side of the ground are higher than originally estimated.

The state government 16 months ago announced $200,000 for the project, while the council has budgeted a $100,000 contribution.

User groups which have committed $90,000 cash and more than $100,000 in voluntary and in-kind support towards the $565,536 project have been asked for more.

But groups yesterday confirmed they had told the council they were unable to again dip into their reserves.

East Warrnambool Football Netball Club spokesman Robin Konigson said the council and user groups had put a huge amount of work into the project over the past 10 years.

“Our club is keen to continue working with the council to see the project completed as soon as possible,” he said.

“We have committed a significant cash contribution for our club ($20,000) and it would be difficult for us to commit to a higher amount at this time.”

Warrnambool and District Football Netball League president Ken McSween said his organisation had committed $10,000 and would not kick in any more.

“Personally I’m very disappointed it hasn’t started,” he said.

Warrnambool Football Netball Club is contributing $50,000 plus the bulk of the in-kind support, while Nestles Cricket Club and the Hampden Football Netball League (HFNL) are both contributing $5000.

A Warrnambool Football Netball Club spokesman said the club’s contribution would not be increased.

HFNL chief executive officer Mike Farrow said the league would not be upping its level of support.

“At this stage we are not prepared to contribute any more,” Farrow said. 

The council is scheduled to meet user groups next Wednesday for more discussions.

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