Council considers links with third city

A THIRD sister-city relationship is on the table for Warrnambool City Council, with the US city of Knoxville, Iowa formally requesting the connection.

Knoxville Raceway.

Knoxville Raceway.

Councillors will vote on the request at tonight’s council meeting, with the recommendation from council officers that they “indicate a willingness to enter into a five-year sister-city arrangement”.

Warrnambool already has sister-city relationships with Changchun in China and Miura in Japan, with the latter connection the centre of controversy last year after some councillors refused to back a council-funded trip to Miura to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the relationship.

Knoxville, Iowa is the self-proclaimed “sprintcar capital of the world” and home to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and Knoxville Raceway (pictured).

That love of sprintcars led to the suggested link between the cities, which came about through a conversation between Knoxville Raceway general manager Brian Stickel and Premier Speedway general manager David Mills.

Knoxville has a population of just over 7000 and the council report suggests a relationship would be “focused more towards sports event tourism”, compared to the “trade, economic development (and) cultural exchange” with Changchun and the “cultural exchange, educational exchange and school-based links” with Miura.

The council report notes there is no known financial impact associated with the relationship at this stage. Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting is a proposed extension of the Gallery Nightclub.

According to plans submitted to the council on behalf of owner Darryl Porter, the extension would create a partially roofed outdoor smoking area on the first floor along Kepler Street.  The renovation would increase patron capacity by 70 people, according to the submission. Nearby residents have objected to the extension, while surrounding business owners have requested certain amendments or unspecified “additional measures” to deal with any further problems relating to the development. 

The report from council officers recommends the extension be approved, with certain conditions.

Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting will be the Horne Road industrial park plan, upgrades to Patloch Lane (between Piccolo’s and Tir Na Nog in Liebig Street), a city infrastructure operations report, and updates on the Warrnambool regional aviation park project and CCTV developments in the city.

mneal@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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