FRANKSTON councillors are set to discuss the merit of moving the Frankston Coast Guard into the troubled Yacht Club building.
If a vote at council’s 14 October* meeting is successful, council will withdraw $8 million in ratepayer funding which had been allocated to help put the Coast Guard in a permanent home at Oliver’s Hill.
The motion councillors are set to vote on reads that council will “commit $400,000 to the 2020/21 budget from the strategic reserve to undertake fit out and associated building works to the first floor of the Frankston Yacht Club facility to provide permanent accommodation for [the Coast Guard] at the Frankston Yacht Club facility subject to an appropriate occupancy agreement and approvals.”
The vote also “notes council will continue to pursue a suitable tenant/s for the first floor and ground floor premises, alongside the FCG, once the building rectification works are completed” and “notes the outcome of the assessment of alternate options for the safe boat refuge, including viable options for a safe boat refuge which have been identified at both Olivers Hill and Kananook Creek.”
A plan to move the coast guard to a facility at Oliver’s Hill had proved divisive, with debate inside council chambers often becoming heated (“Council comes to blows over Oliver’s Hill, The Times, 9/4/19). Council had pledged $8 million to that option and sought matching commitments from the state and federal governments, but failed in their lobbying attempts.
The Yacht Club building has caused headaches for council, mainly sitting vacant since 2016. Negotiations to lease out a bottom floor section of the building hit troubled waters in August when council confirmed that the building was affected by combustible cladding.
*Editor’s note: The vote occurs shortly after publication deadline. An update will be in next week’s edition of The Times.