The Yarrawonga Town Hall, which includes its service centre, will close from March 13 until June 30 to enable major electrical works throughout the building.
The hall’s closure was hotly debated at last week’s Moira Shire Council’s February meeting with Councillor Peter Mansfield expressing concerns over the length of time required to close the hall.
General Manager Corporate Simon Rennie said a recent electrical audit had confirmed the need for substantial works to ensure the safe ongoing operation of the facility.
“Across almost a century the Yarrawonga Town Hall has evolved from limited electrical needs to a building that has connections through out, from the front doors to the stage lights,” Mr Rennie said.
“As anyone who has worked on buildings of this age and type will know, the planned scope of works can vary considerably once you get inside the walls. For this reason we have taken the precaution of closing the facility.
“If the works and Powercor approvals progress quickly we hope to see the facility re-open earlier.”
The closure period was determined following an assessment of the scale of the works, the availability of contractors and Powercor and to minimise disruption to users and the broader community.
“We worked with the users to coordinate alternative venues or dates to enable their activities and events to go ahead,” Mr Rennie said.
“We have also completed a comprehensive analysis of the customer service activity at the Yarrawonga service centre to ensure these needs can be met during the closure period.
“Over the next few weeks and during the closure period we will have ads, posters and other resources advising of alternative options for everything from seeking information and forms to making payments and submitting applications.
“We apologise for any inconvenience the closure may cause for local customers while the works are underway. “We have endeavoured to identify and provide alternative service options for every service our Yarrawonga customers use however if we have missed anything we encourage you to call council so we are aware and can provide a solution.”
Mr Rennie confirmed council had investigated alternative temporary customer service locations.
“Finding a roof and four walls for the closure period was possible however the critical issues were around safety and security for example the need for real time, secure access to customer information and records, the security of staff, cash and banking tils and linking our Yarrawonga staff into the existing call centre phone system.
“Our Yarrawonga staff currently rely on these systems and the loss of any would mean we were not matching the existing standard of service for Yarrawonga and for customers across the entire shire.
“The security of customer information and our staff is essential and ultimately tipped the balance in favour of the temporary closure.”
What you need to know:
• The Yarrawonga customer service staff will be available to handle your enquiries and receive payments over the phone while they are temporarily located at our central office in Cobram.
• Council payments including animal registration renewals and rates can be made at any Australia Post office or bank branch.
• You can submit any forms, paperwork or applications in the DX box located at the Yarrawonga Newsagency. This service provides secure, free transfer of council documents to council’s central office every weeknight.
• If you need an application form or document please call the team and they can mail or email it out to you.