Kimba District Council close to submitting drought projects

The Kimba District Council has made progress on its applications for the $1 million federal Drought Communities Program grant.

At the first meeting of the new elected members earlier this week, three projects were discussed.

Chief executive officer Deb Larwood said the three projects were “near ready to submit.”

Top of the list is a water conservation project at the Roora Reserve, which if approved would take up the majority of the funding.

The project, estimated at around $700,000, would see 40,000 square metres of plastic installed to catch water runoff.

Mrs Larwood said while other water collection infrastructure relied on heavy rainfall events to function, this project would be less dependent on the weather.

“That will virtually collect water runoff every time it rains,” she said.

“It’s hopeful that the dams will last about two years.”

As the plastic sheeting required is a niche product, the council will face a challenge to include local employment to help the project meet funding criteria.

However, corporate services manager Lyndon Keane said the supplier the council was in talks with indicated it would use a local business as a “conduit” and that additional works such as protective fencing could be done locally.

Mrs Larwood said the project with the heaviest focus on local employment would be a redevelopment of the swimming pool facilities.

Costings for the project, which could include a disability toilet, a roof replacement and an upgrade of the changerooms will depend on how much of the grant is still available once other projects are approved.

Mrs Larwood said a rough estimate for the project would be a minimum of $250,000.

Should the council need a third option to access all funding, there is a proposal on the table for a $30,000 portable generator to help the community during emergency situations.