Towong Shire councillors are divided on the potential allocation of another $1 million for upgrades at the Colac Colac caravan park near Corryong.
In-principle support for the additional money being used on improvements to sewer, electrical and fire services being included in the council's draft budget succeeded on a 3-2 vote on Wednesday with mayor David Wortmann, deputy mayor Pete Dikschei and Cr Andrew Whitehead supportive and Cr Aaron Scales and Cr Denise Anderson opposed.
Towong Shire owns the caravan park, but its operations are leased out and the $1 milllion in borrowings to cover the works to be recouped from rental from the park tenants.
Federal and state government funding for park improvements have been received since the 2019-20 summer bushfires with a $890,000 redevelopment ticked off in April for a new amenities building and camp kitchen.
Cr Whitehead said it was important ratepayers be made aware of the potential outlay as part of the budget process.
"If we pull it out now I don't think we can put it back in later on," he said.
"The community now gets their say."
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Cr Scales said the business case to justify the extra expenditure "doesn't stack up".
"The return on investment is a hard one that we have to quantify and yes it's a fantastic facility and does bring tourists into our shire," he said.
"But I really think we need a chance to at least delve into that before we look at borrowing $1 million."
The council's draft budget projects a surplus of $3.9 million with a $25.5 million capital works program being largely bankrolled by $13.2 million in federal and state funding since the bushfires.
Rates will rise by the rate cap of 1.5 per cent, but there has been a spike in the value of rural land.
"It's going to be important to explain to ratepayers about the valuation of properties," Cr Wortmann said.
"But we aren't the only shire. It is right across most of Australia."
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