Coffs Harbour City Council is to contribute a further $150,000 in funds towards the upgrade of Sawtell BMX Track so that it can attract major events to the region.
“BMX is a very popular sport, particularly with young riders, and I’m very glad that my fellow Councillors were also happy to give their support to this great initiative, which is going to mean so much for local youth and the wider community,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight.
Council, in partnership with the Toormina BMX Club, won a $506,504 grant from the 2018/19 Stronger Country Communities Fund provided by the NSW State Government to fully fund an upgrade to the Sawtell BMX track and facilities, located in Toormina. The project has three key elements – the start hill, track lighting and track improvements. The lighting was installed within budget in 2019.
“A key goal of the upgrades was to improve the prospects of attracting state and national titles to the region, but we found that the Club’s design was not consistent with BMX Australia’s requirements for such events and more investment was needed,” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure.
Council looked at ways to save costs while still achieving a design that met all the standards. These measures included:
- Securing the structural design services for the starting ramp structure from engineering consultants on a pro bono basis, as initiated by the BMX Club;
- Discounted in-kind rates being offered from various suppliers for materials that can be used in the project, as initiated by the BMX Club; and
- Working through several designs with the Club to peel the upgrade works back to a basic arrangement that was closer to the available funding, while still remaining functional and fit for the purpose of hosting higher level events.
“Working closely with the Club we achieved the most cost efficient design we could that would still meet the required standards. The final, agreed design needed a further $150,000 which has now been approved by Council,” added Mr Raby.
Councillors agreed that $150,000 from Community Facilities Reserves funds will be made available for the project.
Work is due to start in August with completion by December 2020.