Cabonne councillors have failed to endorse a council staff recommendation that $5,000 be granted to cover half the costs of producing a phone book for the people of Molong.
The phone book was to have contained mobile phone numbers of community members.
While councillors waved through a number of grants, the idea of spending $5,000 of ratepayers' money on a phone book in 2021 faced stiff questioning.
Councillors wanted to know who would use such a book in the internet age, and whether a green light for a Molong phone book would lead to other communities in the shire such as Canowindra and Eugowra wanting $5,000 for their own mobile phone book.
"All up you're looking at $10,000 for a phone book?" asked Cr Jenny Weaver.
"I'd like to know how they came up with a telephone book to begin with, and then it's going to cost $10,000 to produce it, that seems like an awful lot of money for me for a telephone book for a small community."
Mayor Kevin Beatty suggested that printing costs these days were 'pretty high'.
Councillor Peter Batten said the phone book was proposed as 'no longer are people's telephones listed in the [White Pages] ... [it's] an initiative to make people more accessible to the community'.
Councillor Paul Mullins: "I've been in touch with the proponents recently, they've got about 150 names out of a projected 1,500.
"Five thousand dollars for printing for a telephone book ... I support it, I think we should approve it in principle, but I'd certainly need a bit more information.
"If the ratepayers found out we were spending [$5,000] on the town's telephone book I think they'd be horrified."
However Cr Mullins said he would be surprised if the phone book cost as much as predicted.
The councillors voted to defer any decision on the $5,000 grant until they had been able to get more information.
Meanwhile, councillors endorsed a staff report that funding should be given to the Eugowra Community Children's Centre High Tea ($500).
They also voted in favour of a $1,500 grant for the Canowindra Old Time and New Vogue Dance Group Downton Abbey Ball.
Councillors endorsed putting on public display a staff report that proposes increases in rates and other charges such as water and sewer from 2-10 percent.
The Draft Budget and Operational Plan 2021/2022 will be exhibited for a period of 28 days from Monday May 3.
An Extraordinary Council meeting on Tuesday June 8 would consider any submissions received from the public.
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