At the October 18 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, councillors supported changing the Maclean Sport Centre’s “lease model to a management retainer model”.
Councillors also approved going “to tender under a management retainer arrangement and include options for both: 100% contractor income retention and 50% income sharing with Council”.
In the meantime, councillors also approved an interim six-month lease and management contract to Valley Pool Services, at a cost of $18,800 including GST.
The balance of $35,000 budget will be spent on electricity and maintenance.
The general manager can approve contract variations of up to 10 per cent.
At the meeting, Cr Debrah Novak said: “For me, it doesn’t feel like it’s been a transparent process … have all the possible people been approached to be the successful tenderer?
Works and Civil director Troy Anderson said: “No one has been approached as a successful tenderer, because we are here tonight to determine the outcome of expressions of interest [EOI] to determine exactly that.”
Councillor Andrew Baker said: “Does this recommendation fit in line with council decision of August?”
Mr Anderson: “Yes.”
The detail of August decision – “That Council receive and note the report relating to the Maclean Sports Centre” –, however, is not available to the public because it was tabled in a confidential session.
No debate took place at the October council meeting; Cr Novak voted against awarding the contract to Valley Pool Services, which also manages CVC pools at Maclean and Glenreagh.
Cr Jim Simmons declared a pecuniary interest and took no part in the vote (one of the two EOIs is a client of his business); Cr Karen Toms was absent.
The report to council states: “Two parties were approached to manage the centre [Kanes Sports & Leisure Pty and Valley Pool Services] on an interim 6 month arrangement until a future operating model was considered and tendered by Council.
“Council’s preferred model was a lease; however, both parties have submitted an alternate EOI of a management fee to operate the centre.”
Maintenance identified for action includes: “…safety issues around the scoring box, netting requires tightening, architraves and door frames are damaged and door stops need to be installed on all internal doors to prevent further damage.
“In addition, the MSC requires thorough cleaning, painting to some areas, and full pest treatment.”
There was no mention of the ongoing ingress of water during rain events.
Clarence Valley Council had not responded to the Independent’s inquiry, made at 12.30pm on Friday, before the noon Monday print deadline, which asked: “Is CVC going to address the issues regarding water penetrating the stadium during rain events? And: “When is the centre reopening?”