The council will defer consideration of a $4 million community centre at its former works depot for 18 months.
The decision at the most recent meeting comes on the back of concern about the budgetary impact of coronavirus.
Deputy Mayor Peter Walker urged a prudent approach, given several large projects already on the books. These include the new performing arts centre and the aquatic centre redevelopment.
Community groups are currently spread across several spaces, including a leased building at 155-157 Auburn Street, for which the council pays $148,000 annual rent. The lease runs out on June 30, 2023, with option for renewal.
The Goulburn Gem Society, U3A and the Goulburn and District Art Society also rent areas within the old Bourke Street depot.
In 2018, the council decided to investigate Bourke Street for a purpose built community centre. It was estimate to cost $4 million, including yet to be secured grant funding.
But corporate services director Brendan Hollands recommended it be considered again in five years, given the "uncertain financial future."
"Although the impact of COVID-19 has been less in regional areas than metropolitan areas, it is almost certain we will not escape the financial fallout of this pandemic," he reported.
Moreover, Mr Hollands said government grants were increasingly targeted towards infrastructure tied to bushfire recovery.
He recommended allocating $250,000 for alterations at 56 Clinton Street. Changes included a new storage room, new kitchen, IT upgrade and activities and program areas on the ground floor. The council owned-building is used as a workspace, including for some community groups.
However, Cr Walker argued there was no urgency for a decision.
"I don't see the need for this to go forward," he said.
"It's three years before we need to get out of Auburn Street and three years before we need to do anything at Clinton Street," he said.
"We're running on a tight budget and looking to spend money on...a facility that doesn't totally belong to us."
He was referring to the fact that under the terms of the 2004 council amalgamation, Upper Lachlan Shire would receive a 24 per cent stake if the building were sold.
Cr Walker said it was important to finish the aquatic centre and performing arts venue first, and "fingers crossed, the budget would be in better shape."
He told The Post he was "100 per cent" behind a community centre at Bourke Street "at the right time."
"I believe we need to build a complex that seniors and other groups can call their home and be looked after as they should be," he said.
He argued that U3A, the Gem Society and Goulburn and District Arts would not fit in Clinton Street and that Auburn Street had some access issues, especially for bus parking.
"We have time to make the right decision, and in my mind, that's Bourke Street," Cr Walker said.
Councillors unanimously decided to defer a decision for 18 months.
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