Report for the community on the upgrade project funded by NSW Office of Gambling and Bushfire Relief at the Community Centre
The upgrade project funded by NSW Office of Gambling and Bushfire Relief at the Community Centre is now well underway and expected to be completed in early August 2021.
The Centre Committee has been working on improving the electricity for over 10 years including submissions for solar. The results will be pleasing to allow for numerous activities and use of a range of appliances at the one time. And tennis players will be able to use the courts in the evening, and the centre can still operate at the same time. This project has been enabled by the funds provided from Infrastructure Grant - NSW Office of Gambling with NACCAi as the auspicing agent, and the Committee and MCC as the project managers. Without these funds we would not have an upgrade and would be continuing to operate as a small community hall with minimal electricity for lights and fridges.
New Tank: Bushmans were contracted to provide and install a new 58,000 litre water tank.
The excavation proved to be much more complicated that originally scoped. The ground was soft after the rains and excavation was required to remove all the fill that was put there some years ago down to ground level. Mid Coast Council provided $2000 from Bushfire Relief towards the additional excavation which is fitting given that we submitted for this project during the drought and post bushfires.
The tank is now nearly full already. This water will be important during dry times to come for the community centre, the garden, the additional use from increased use of the hall, and of course availability of water during emergencies.
The excavation has left a bit of a mess around the Garden Centre Shed, and plans will be made to clean up this area and find funds for a deck area at the back of the shed.
The planned community contributions so far have been made from the Garden Group, who provided over $600 and labour towards the excavation. The Centre Committee provided for the payment of a Stortz fitting for the new tank, and funds for unplanned excavation totalling $630.
Electricity : MRM Powerlines have certification for the design of the transformer and pole installation by Essential Energy and will start drilling for the new pole in the next couple of weeks.
The hole for the pole needs to be drilled firstly prior to any other installation for safety reasons. We are hoping that the drilling goes down far enough for the pole without too many rock problems. MRM have a diamond drill on hand if there are issues and contingencies are in place to pay for extra time that may be needed if hard rock is found.
Once the hole is completed Essential Energy will be contacted for inspections and to arrange a power outage which should occur in early July. The new pole and transformer will then be mounted and hole back filled.
I will let everyone know about the dates for drilling and installation for viewing however visibility will be limited for safety purposes. Members of the Committee will be there to record the installations. MRM do not need people poking about the site while they are working.
Connection to the building: James Howell a local electrician will be arrange drilling for the wires to go underground from the pole to the Community Centre, and will be building a new box for some of the circuits. The existing box will remain and the new box will contain new meters required for Essential Energy. This will happen late July / August.
Solar: Rob Petic from Clean Green Energy at Newcastle will be installing 18 solar panels and batteries. This will happen once the 3 phase is installed and approved. Probably in early August.
Preparations for solar: The 355 Community Centre Committee have been working through a re-vamp of storage, the coffee shop area, and kitchen areas. The batteries will be placed in the locked store room, locked cupboards have been made available for some community groups, the kitchen has been re-organised to make working easier for catering. The Committee is a small dedicated let’s get it done group, and support from local tradies and suppliers has enabled progress in the re-vamp of the Centre.
Fund raising: The Coffee Shop has been an enormous contributor to the fund raising at the Centre with accounts nearly back to pre-Covid levels. At the last meeting the treasurer reported that the account has around $8000 available for investment in community infrastructure around the Cove and the Centre. A meeting of all the Coffee Shop volunteers and supporters will be held in July to thank them for all the work and discuss future investments.
There is a list of priorities including improving the kitchens and installing additional playground equipment. The Committee will consult with the wider community regarding new installations.