Hilltops Councillor John Horton has spoken out this week about the misconceptions and rumour regarding the construction of the new Hilltops Library facility proposed for Young.
"There have been so many figures brandished around as to what the new Young Library is going to cost, and the fact is, that at this point there is no exact figure in place." Cr Horton said.
"The current figure is thought to be about $32 million dollars, because it is not just going to be a library, it is the upgrade of the Young High School, the joint use library and a community facility in one."
Cr Horton went on to say that when the three Councils of Harden, Boorowa and Young amalgamated, a 'Stronger Communities' grant of $15 million was given to the Hilltops Council, of which Harden received the lion's share per capita.
$2 million dollars of that grant, was put aside by Hilltops Council to go toward the new Young Library.
The NSW State Government has put forward a figure of 6.7 billion dollars toward the upgrades of schools across the state, one of these schools chosen to receive the upgrade is Young High School.
"Hilltops Council negotiated a deal with the NSW Department of Education, that the most the Council will ever have to pay toward the joint use library and community facility is $6.5 million dollars and minus the $2 million previously put aside, we are left with a figure of $4.5 million dollars." Cr Horton said.
"Council then applied for and received a grant from the 'Regional Cultural Fund' of another $3 million, leaving only $1.5 million for the Council to fund, which has been catered for in the Council long-term financial plan."
Cr Horton said that it had been reported that Council rates would rise dramatically to compensate this figure.
"Rates have historically always risen, according to the unimproved value of our land, that is not going to change, but they will only raise by the percentage amount that is allowed by the NSW State Government set across the State." Cr Horton said.
"The only difference I can see, is that in the past,the former Harden, Boorowa and Young Councils have all had different rating systems, which will now be made equal across the Hilltops Shire."
Cr Horton also said that there were media reports that the community was being kept in the dark about Council plans for the library.
"i joined the 'Library Precinct Steering Committee', back in 2017, and there were many public meetings held." Cr Horton said.
"There were a lot of concerns raised, and a few locations suggested for the new library, including the expansion of the current library site, the back of the Hilltops Council and the Museum site; all of which raised objection from members of the public. There is no 'right' place for the new library, but this is the 'best' place."