New greasetrap sparks heated debate in council meeting
A GREASE trap was the centre of a heated debate in the council meeting last Wednesday, when members of council had opposing views as to whether fronting large costs to support local businesses or staying within budget was more important.
Paying 100 per cent towards the new trap of a popular Injune cafe would put the general maintenance budget for the building at 108 per cent.
Mayor Tyson Golder said he believes supporting local businesses should always be prioritised, even if it means one budget will be exceeded.
“If one bucket doesn’t have enough in it, money can be transferred from another bucket,” Cr Golder said.
“Business is tough enough as it is so good landlords should look after their tenants and I believe the grease trap is something that the building should have anyway.
“The building is 100 per cent owned by council and I believe things like this are a way to support our local businesses by saying that as your landlords ‘you don’t have to worry about it, we’ll look after you’.
“The trap would also benefit any future tenants and make it more attractive to be there in the case it became vacant.”
However, Puddy Chandler put forward the notion of council paying for 50 per cent of the new trap after a majority of councillors voted against fronting the whole cost.
“We can’t borrow money from Peter to pay Paul,” she said.
“Council can’t afford to spend money on a lot of things, people seem to think council has money from Donald Trump but we can’t take from one budget to pay another.”
“The Council budget is a big budget planned carefully to a last dollar. The only time we can influence the budget and make changes is when budget considerations are being done.”
Cr Chandler thinks it would be a dangerous precedent to set to pay the whole cost of the grease trap, with many lessees of other council owned buildings paying their own way for desired modifications.
“For example, the Wallumbilla Show Society has paid for some of the buildings at the showgrounds and paid to plant trees but it’s all become property of council to install,” she said.
Council voted 6-2 in paying only 50 per cent of the new grease trap, with the owners to pay the remaining half.
This puts the general maintenance budget for the building at 72 per cent.
“The lessee of the Injune cafe is happy with the collaboration of paying 50 per cent each,” Cr Chandler said.