COUNCIL will write to the State Government requesting a 12-month extension on the peppercorn lease for the Warilla Child Care Centre.
Owners of the land, NSW Housing, announced last month that the $1 peppercorn lease agreement would increase to $40,000 by January 2015.
Council reported the rent increase and costs of maintaining and operating the facility posed a significant financial risk and if an alternate provider could not be found the facility would close.
At the meeting on July 22, councillors Kellie Marsh and Peter Moran moved a Notice of Motion requesting council write to the appropriate minister asking for an extension of the peppercorn agreement until December 2015.
Cr Moran said it would be shame if the lease increase led to the demise of an “extremely valuable centre”.
“We have a situation where children in this area have a greater need for appropriate educational facilities where they can receive, from the earliest possible date, the help they need in overcoming the barriers that life and nature has placed in their way.”
Cr Moran said the extension in time would give council the option to continue the service for another year until a more appropriate solution was formed.
The general manager confirmed council were in the process of negotiations with an alternate provider that could potentially take over the centre’s tenancy.
Earlier this month, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson wrote to the minster requesting urgent intervention in maintaining the peppercorn rent rate of the centre. Ms Watson said the minister advised her they were looking into the matter.