A NEW toilet block may be built at Noreuil Park after Albury councillors voted 5-4 to explore that option.
It had been recommended that council approve a tender for Wodonga firm Connelly Construction Services to upgrade the existing washrooms.
But instead at this week's council meeting it was decided to seek a report on the costs of replacing the toilets which service River Deck Cafe patrons as well park users.
The move was initiated by councillor John Stuchbery who described the $319,160 cost for an upgrade as expensive and noted there had not been consideration of a knockdown and rebuild.
"I think that is worth at least exploring, it may end up not being the way to go for a variety of reasons, but unless we actually explore it we can't possibly know that," he said.
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Councillor Henk van de Ven suggested it sent a bad signal to the community to be taking such action when a tender process had already occurred.
Councillor Darren Cameron questioned why ratepayers were subsiding toilets for the River Deck and asked executive manager Tracey Squire what return they got.
Ms Squire said lease details were commercial in confidence.
Cr Cameron replied: "Albury is a unique place it seems to me, not only do the representative bodies of (the) business community get funded by the ratepayers, so indeed are there businesses, or certain businesses, heavily subsidised."
Mayor Kevin Mack said having access to the toilets was seen as a drawcard to help find a cafe operator when expressions of interest were first sought.
Councillor Alice Glachan said duplicating toilets was unnecessary.
"How wasteful would it be if we had to provide or the restaurant had to provide other facilities and at the end of the day we would have to share in that provision in any case because it is our property," she said.
Councillor Graham Docksey questioned how long it would take for a new block to be built in comparison to a refurbishment.
During work portable toilets would be in place.
Cr Stuchbery, Cr Mack, Cr Cameron and Murray King and deputy mayor Amanda Cohn voted in favour, while David Thurley and Cr van de Ven, Cr Glachan and Cr Docksey were naysayers.
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