UPPER Hunter towns Denman and Sandy Hollow were two of the big winners following the release of Muswellbrook Shire Council’s 2018-2019 Budget on Wednesday morning.
Council’s spokesperson for finance Cr Scott Bailey told the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) breakfast crowd the organisation recognised Denman as a “fast growing tourist centre”.
Council allocated $1.25 million for the first stage of the Denman Main Street renewal program, $1.94 million for the reconstruction of Denman Memorial Hall, as well as funding for design and development of the proposed Denman geothermal baths together with backing for the installation of an RV dump point.
The Sandy Hollow Masterplan will receive $40,000 towards that project, too.
“We expect construction [on the Denman Main Street] will get underway in mid-July,” Cr Bailey said.
“The $1.25 million includes $300,000 and $450,000 contributions sourced from planning agreements associated with Mangoola and Mount Pleasant coal mines respectively.
“We thank both of them for their ongoing commitment to the shire’s communities.
“Council anticipates a further $2.5 million to be announced as part of the state government’s Resources for Regions program.”
The Denman Memorial Hall was destroyed by a fire more than two years ago.
But, Cr Bailey said work, on the reconstruction, would start on July 1.
“In addition to the recovery of insurances, council welcomes $500,000 of funding from planning agreements associated with Mangoola – and, again, we thank Glencore,” he explained.
“The new hall will be built to a modern standard, be fully air-conditioned and include the addition of a bar, back of house, retractable tiered seating and cinema projection facilities.
“We’re allocating money for the proposed Denman geothermal baths, and installation of an RV dump point, too.
“Denman’s becoming the centre of the Upper Hunter’s tourism industry.
“And, we’re confident that these projects will greatly enhance that organic development.”