Frankston City Council have advised the Frankston & District Basketball Association (FDBA) Board of Management that works expected to commence in mid-February on the expansion of Frankston basketball stadium have been delayed due to unresolved lease negotiations between council and the FDBA.
As reported in today’s Bayside News, council’s initial lease terms include the doubling of the FDBA’s current lease fee along with the inclusion of a 6% tax on FDBA gross revenue which current estimates forecast would see the FDBA slugged with an additional $120,000 per annum. In total the new lease council is proposing is a 250% increase on what the FDBA is currently paying as part of its rental of Frankston basketball stadium.
FDBA President Steve Ashley believes the proposed terms are a “cash grab” by council which if accepted by the FDBA would directly impact the FDBA’s viability into the future. “On behalf of the FDBA
Board of Management and our 14,000 strong membership I have advised council that the proposed lease terms just simply cannot be met due to their unsustainable nature. The delay in works are regrettable but are out of the FDBA’s control. In the context of what our association has committed to invest in this project along with fully funding the previous 4-court expansion of the stadium in 1992, the Board feels in the best interests of our current and future membership we cannot in good conscious sign a lease which will prohibits us from meeting our charter of growing the sport of basketball in our region.” Ashley said.
FDBA Treasurer Ian Watt, who has project-led lease negotiations with council feels an outcome is achievable but won’t be until council understands the true magnitude a 250% hike in expected lease payments will have on the FDBA’s 14,000 member participation base and wider community.
“The FDBA has been working with council officers since early 2015 to finalize the future lease terms due to the FDBA understanding the importance the future lease has on the association financially. What the FDBA believed it was entering into at the commencement of this project is not what has been offered by council which is disappointing. Considering the FDBA has, in-principle, agreed to contribute $1 million dollars to the project and then being handed a lease with 3 days to sign that restricts the association from generating a return on this investment is not smart business.” Watt said.
Representatives of the FDBA Board met recently with council in early February 2017 in response to council’s confirmation that initial terms would not be altered. At this meeting assurances were made by council executive staff along with elected councilors including Mayor Brian Cunial; Deputy Mayor Steve Toms; and Ward Councillor Glenn Aitken that the concerns of the FDBA had regarding the future lease terms would be addressed with a Special Council Meeting called on 6 March 2017. The outcome of this meeting has seen council convene a meeting scheduled for Wednesday 15 March 2017 at which time council will re-consider the FDBA’s position and convey the outcome of this Special Meeting.
The FDBA will continue to work with Frankston City on finding resolution to the current impasse in lease negotiations with further news to follow later this week post Wednesday’s meeting at which all
Frankston City councilors will be in attendance which is a step in the right direction according to FDBA General Manager Nathan Jolly saying Wednesday’s meeting will be a “water-shed moment” for Frankston City and “the wider Frankston community”.
“This project is a model project for our community which will not only deliver a bench-mark community asset that will be the industry standard, but also delivers a financial return for rate payers of $3 for every $1 invested. When you compare this to other projects Frankston City has invested in over recent years the economic return along with the continued promotion of health & well-being while attracting national and international events, this expansion project should be welcomed by council and define Frankston as the ‘sporting municipality in the sporting capital of the world’©.”
With over 75% of the FDBA’s active participation base living within the Frankston municipality, it is expected members may want to contact councilors and council staff directly to provide feedback on the benefits this project will have on the social fabric of our community and wider region. Details have been listed below.
South Ward (Frankston South, Frankston, Frankston City Centre and Langwarrin South)
Mayor Cr Brian Cunial
Office: 03 8773 9529
Mobile: 0400 236 977
Deputy Mayor Cr Steve Toms
Cr Quinn McCormack
Mobile: 0419 446 930
North-East Ward (Carrum Downs, Langwarrin, Skye and Sandhurst)
Cr Sandra Mayer
Mobile: 0400 236 107
Mobile: 0418 721 679
North-West Ward (Seaford, Frankston, Frankston North and Karingal)
Phone: 0417 921 644
Phone: 0419 298 838
Phone: 03 9786 3274
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