$3.75m loan boosts new library coffers

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

The Yarrawonga Library, Events and Performance Precinct is moving one step closer with Moira Shire Council voting to apply for a low interest loan of $3.75m to help fund the project at the recent November meeting. 

Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said this low interest loan was being offered by Treasury Corporation Victoria under the Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme. 

“If we are successful in this application, council will refer the Library Precinct project for consideration as part of our 2020-21 budget deliberations,” Cr Mustica said. 

“In addition to the low interest loan application, we are seeking a grant from the state government’s Living Libraries Program and have made provision in our long-term financial plan for funding towards this project. 

“Making use of a loan facility will spread the cost over a longer period rather than over a single financial year.” 

The November ordinary council meeting agenda states council has committed $684,000 to the Yarrawonga Library, Events and Performance Precinct, with $600,000 forecast for 2020/2021 and $1.2m forecast for 2021/2022.

The budgeted funds make up the matching funds requirement of the Living Libraries Infrastructure Fund to which council has submitted a grant application for $750,000. 

The forecast funds are offset by the sale of the current Yarrawonga Library building. 

The loan application for $3.75 million provides sufficient funding for the project should the Living Libraries grant application be unsuccessful, otherwise only $3 million will need to be borrowed.

The Yarrawonga Library, Events and Performance Precinct is a priority of council, is eligible for the Scheme and requires funding. Based on analysis of its financial records, council has the capacity to repay the loan on time and in full.

Cr Mustica said the Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme supported the delivery of community infrastructure via a low interest, government guaranteed loan. 

“We have progressively been working towards building a new library in Yarrawonga for a number of years,” he said. 

“The current Yarrawonga Library is limited by space, constraining the ability to deliver various programs.

“The Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct, which includes the town hall, community hall and old preschool buildings, has been evaluated to be the most suitable site for the purposes of a new library. 

“We aim to create a vibrant and diverse community hub including a library, Customer Service Centre, meeting spaces and a commercial kitchen in this precinct. 

“The project presents a unique opportunity for renewal of the whole precinct which will benefit all demographics within the Yarrawonga community.”