SHOALHAVEN City Council has snubbed its nose at the community’s call for it to purchase a vacant block of land in the village.
Councillors last week voted not to buy the block on the corner of Wason and Thomas Streets for use as a car park and community green.
Members of Milton Promotions Incorporated have been collecting signatures calling on council to purchase the site at a cost of up to $550,000.
However Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash told the Times council had “more pressing priorities”.
“This is a very emotional issue and, while I understand this is a great site and people would like council to buy it, our budget priorities have been set.
“There are so many things that are a higher priority in other areas that have not been funded for years, so it wouldn’t be fair to go out and buy it.”
MPI president Simi Chee said she was “very disappointed” with council’s decision, however she said the community “would definitely not be giving up”.
“Council won’t buy it, but we will be doing all we can to purchase the block,” she said.
Ms Chee said the MPI was talking to potential investors about purchasing the land on behalf of the community.
“There are a few people out there that may be willing to pool their money to buy the site,” she said.
She said the block of land would be ideal for a park and market ground as well as providing additional parking for visitors to the village and parents of school children.
While Crs Mark Kitchener and Patricia White spoke in favour of the park, and the MPI presented 500 signatures on a petition, Ms Chee said some councillors who had previously indicated their support were unable to attend last week’s council meeting to cast their votes.
Anyone interested in contributing to the park purchase or who would like to be involved in the campaign is welcome to attend the next MPI meeting at the Commercial Hotel on Tuesday July 15 at 6.30pm.