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PLANS for Yackandandah’s council offices and library were unveiled last night ahead of a public meeting tomorrow night.
The $1.5 million High Street building has a large open space at the front. The Indigo Council now wants feedback on how it should be used.
The old office will be demolished for a civic forecourt that provides access to the town hall on one side with the library and council offices at the back of it.
It’s the second plan in 18 months. The first, released last year, incorporated Ardsville Cottage. It will now be sold.
Wodonga firm Jovaras Westland Partnerships prepared both plans.
About 40 people attended the first two of four consultation sessions last night with the mayor Barb Murdoch, chief executive Brendan McGrath and several councillors.
Some residents questioned whether the plans would go ahead.
“After the first plan was reneged on, is this just a beautiful shiny bit of paper?” one asked.
Cr Murdoch said the 700 square metre office would be built with work starting in January.
“We are going ahead,” she said.
Some residents spoke of the damage to the town they feared from 17 council staff being moved from Yackandandah to Beechworth.
Many spoke of businesses suffering.
David Bishop, a member of a resident group monitoring the changes said: “To lose a third of your biggest employer is an enormous hit”.
Chris Cheater, who lives at Yackandandah and works in Wodonga, said: “There is a tendency to shop close to where you work and we’re losing 17 people who shop in Yackandandah”.
Galley 33’s Tom Yates said having two offices in the one shire is “ridiculous” and Yackandandah needed to make more money from tourism.
“Most of my customers are from out of town and there’s great potential for tourism,” he said.
“I can’t see how offices contribute to tourism.”
A Group of Concerned Residents’ meeting will be held in the Yackandandah Town Hall tomorrow at 7pm to discuss the plans.