New church but no discounts

The Vine Church has been given approval to build a place of worship on Wee Jasper Road at Yass.

Pastor Gary Brown appealed to council to waive a fee of more than $8000 toward the upgrade of roads in the area.

He said the church was a not-for-profit organisation that provided free events and things like hampers for the community.

“All of this is done at our own expense,” he said before the latest council meeting. “Our new facility will allow us to expand these services.”

His appeal was unsuccessful but he was delighted the application passed anyway.

Councillor Michael McManus said he understood the church contributed to the community but was reluctant to waive the fee.

He said the church would receive discounted rates and water fees due to the fact it would be on church land.

“If that’s the case this property will get a $50,000 help from the community over the years,” he said.

He said even council had to pay these types of contributions when putting in a development.

Cr Geoff Frost attempted to amend council’s motion so the church wouldn’t have to pay the Section 94 contribution.

“This is a community facility… it will be very much a community asset.”

He said the church would “more than make up that amount in terms of services to the community.

“We’re being a bit trivial here, it’s $8000,” Cr Frost said.

Cr David Needham said once council gave the church that opportunity, there would be many more groups in line to receive the same benefit.

“It’s not a trivial issue, it’s a Pandora’s box,” he said.

Cr Frost had the support of three other councillors but couldn’t get the motion passed.

The new church was approved but the Vine Church will have to pay the Section 94 contribution of $8194.

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