This is a little long, but it is important for all members to read!
Some of you may be aware the City of Port Phillip (CoPP), has informed us of the new arrangements for occupancy of the new building. They have stated that this kind of arrangement is the first of its kind and being looked at for future arrangements within the CoPP and by other councils for other community buildings.
SMLSC had been seeking discussions on the lease arrangements for the new building, as soon as it was confirmed the club was going to be rebuilt. We were informed in February the club will not be given a lease on the whole building. While we will have a lease on the west end of the building and exclusive use, the east end of the building, with the kitchen and large room will be under a different license agreement with many other groups also being licensed to use the space.
In late April we were advised what the cost would be to the club (detailed below). Since that time, we have continued discussions as we believe the estimate for utilities is excessive (the total cost of utilities for the old building was around $5000 per annum for the whole building) and how the cleaning arrangements, rubbish disposal, protection of our property in the shared area etc. will work. We have also attempted to reduce the amount as we provide a service to the community, not only as a community organisation but also an essential emergency service.
Our previous rent was approximately $600 per year, so this is an increase of 4000% and we do not have access to the whole building 100% of the time. The CoPP has also stated we will not have access to the building until this lease/license is signed. We are hoping to gain access in September to allow for season preparations.
The agreement also impacts on our ability to raise funds. Previously we have been able to raise some funds by renting out the room space when we were not using it. This provided a source of income from the club (our rates were always very low or zero if reciprocal arrangements with other community organisations).
This rental will now be done by managed by the CoPP and they will take the income (the other 70% of the time). Some arrangements such as LSV programming will still be allowed to be managed by SMLSC as they are lifesaving arrangements, although obviously the charges to them will have to increase from the cost recovering charges previously in place. We don’t know if they will continue to use SMLSC under the new costs.
The CoPP have stated we have priority for use of the building, however require us to advise of our usage a year in advance. Anything at short notice, will be subject to availability and may come at an additional cost (i.e. we would need to rent the room). We have obtained agreement that as an emergency service, any emergency situations will override any other user.
We have sought support from LSV but to date, they are still evaluating the implications for lifesaving, SMLSC and other clubs built on council-controlled land. There are concerns both on the costs and that the building is not solely under the control of the club and we await their response. It is the intention to notify the LSV Council of LIfesaving Clubs of the proposed arrangement for SMLSC, as this has potential impact for all other lifesaving clubs, even more so for those in the CoPP and Port Phillip Bay.
We have now been advised SMLSC was always aware the new building would be a shared facility with the local high school. This is not true! We always had the understanding that the room would be available for them (and any other school) to use under our arrangements. NEVER as dual occupants, limiting SMLSC control and access to the building.
The position of the SMLSC was always that this was a community facility. We would work with many other organisations to ensure the building was used as much as possible. However it would be under our control with previous arrangements allowing us to work well with multiple users at any one time, managing cleaning and the costs were reasonable to all.
We always ensured the building was maintained and any property was protected. Under this new arrangement, the opposite is true. It is one user in, one user out, coordinated by a council worker. Any issues arising, will have to go through this third party and await being rectified. We have no idea what will happen or who is responsible if our property such as honour boards are damaged by another user.
We continue to have discussions with the CoPP and we had begun work on a business model for the club going into the new building. It is now being adjusted, to work within the restrictions and to enable the club to pay these increased costs and to survive as a community organisation and emergency service. Obviously, many changes will have to be made and we are working to reduce this financial burden in any way we can. Time is short to finalise any arrangements especially when the restrictions on what we can and can’t do are still being discussed. (FYI our average turnover was previously $120,000 -130,000 pa, last year excepted).
We cannot do this without you…be involved!… have your say! Stick with us! We are working to maintain this great club we have all formed! It is intended that we are to have an information session to include representatives from CoPP and LSV in July that we are hoping to live stream so people can also view and ask questions if they can’t attend.
Please stay tuned for updates, we will keep you informed.
As president, I am always available for queries, 0414252027 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dinah Boswell, President SMLSC
Alison Porter – Club Captain – email@example.com – 0407 128 303
Council Offer to Club
Exclusive Space Amount (West end, with club storage and patrol room etc)
Rent $ 104.00
Maintenance $ 10,594.84
Insurance $ 1,855.04
Capital Cost $ ——–
Total for Lease $ 12,553.89 (+ Utilities separately metered)
Multipurpose Space Amount (based on SMLSC timetable of 30% of time available) (East end)
Rent $ 1.00
Maintenance $ 2,506.09
Insurance $ 438.79
Capital Cost $ ———
Utilities $ 5,537.93
Total for Lease (License) $ 8,483.81
Total Cost to Club $ 21,037.70
+ GST = $23,131.44 per annum