The plan to build Shellharbour's controversial city hub would include a "fire sale" of community assets, outspoken councillor Peter Moran said.
Cr Moran and ex-mayor Kellie Marsh questioned a funding plan that includes selling land at Tullimbar, near Albion Park, to help cover the project's price tag of at least $55 million.
The city hub, located on land in the city centre, is pitched as a "heart" for Shellharbour and would include a library and museum, a civic auditorium, new council chambers and offices, and community meeting rooms.
Financial plans reveal the council expects to receive $34,173,081 from asset sales to help fund the project, which is yet to get the tick of approval from councillors.
Land proposed for sale includes the old Warilla council building, the existing Lamerton House council building and adjacent land, the council's holdings at Tullimbar, and two vacant lots near the Oak Flats train station.
"It appears to be a fire sale and if we don't achieve the desired results then we're in a situation where we can't pay for the hub," Cr Moran said.
The council's land at Tullimbar is located next door to developer Miltonbrook's Tullimbar project.
"If we sell it now we will get much less for it than if we wait for a few years until the Tullimbar development is further progressed and has a commercial centre," Cr Moran said.
"There's no pub nearby, there's no shops nearby, there's a school, of course, but the normal services that people look for in a community are not yet there."
He said the council hoped to get about $13 million for the land, but a lesser amount could blow a hole in the city hub's finances.
Both councillors questioned if council valuations took into account the large electricity towers on the site.
Cr Marsh said the property could be subdivided into 100 to 125 lots.
"[It] could potentially put stress on people and families that want to sell, and with our Local Environmental Plan up in the air I don't think that this is the right time or fair on our current ratepayers," she said.
"I don't want the council to get into a big black financial hole that generations to come will be cursing the current council for. I'm not opposed to the city hub project, but at the moment we just ... can't afford it."
The council will consider the business case for the city hub on October 16.
The business case for Shellharbour’s planned city hub includes selling ...
- Lamerton House
- Lot 3000, adjacent to Lamerton House
- Old council chambers at Warilla
- Council holdings at Tullimbar
- Two vacant lots near the Oak Flats railway station
PRICE FORECAST: $34 million