Councillor Ellen Smith promises council will 'act immediately' on construction of the new regional pound at Gracemere once planning approval is given.
Councillor Ellen Smith promises council will 'act immediately' on construction of the new regional pound at Gracemere once planning approval is given. Tamara MacKenzie ROK261016tktouc

Final negotiations on new $1.6M Gracemere pound site

A NEW Gracemere pound site is in the final stages of negotiation after the previous location was found to be impacted by flooding.

Rockhampton Region councillor, Ellen Smith (pictured) could not give details about the new location yesterday, saying the matter had been discussed and decided on during a closed session of the planning and regulatory committee meeting.  

In January, council confirmed the $1.6 million regional pound had suffered a major setback with the site deemed unsuitable due to flooding issues.

Tenders had already been awarded for the facility in May 2016.

Flood proofing was found to add "a significant amount” to the overall project cost and the decision was made to look for a new site.

Yesterday, council resolved to conclude negotiations with a new site to go through the usual planning approval process.

"We've been on a journey to locate an alternative site for the pound after finding out late in the piece that the initial location was unsuitable due to overland flows in heavy rain,” Cr Smith said.

Initially, construction was scheduled to start before Christmas.

"Moving forward with the new location, council will act immediately,” Cr Smith said.

"Once we have gone through the notification period, things will begin to happen fairly quickly.

"We recognise the urgency to get this pound built as soon as possible.

"The builder is waiting and ready to come and build it and we expect it will be completed within four months from start of construction.”

The budget for the new facility remains $1.6 million, with funding allocated in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 budgets for construction to begin in stages.

Stage one of the Gracemere pound was set to include an administration block, cat holding and isolation area, veterinary services, 24 dog kennels with insect control, a dog run and exercise area, and a food store.

Stage two would see a sealed road network and on-site parking added, along with 24 dog kennels and stock control facilities.

The plan will remain the same for the new site.



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