NEGOTIATIONS over a $60,000 communications tower that ratepayers paid for will go back to the drawing board, after one councillor questioned why it would be handed to NSW Police.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) won't accept a deal that would see it give a tower it constructed on NSW Police land to the organisation, with just a decade of rent-free access.
Councillor Glenn Inglis said as far as he's concerned, just 10 years of free access to a council-owned tower is a raw deal.
"Tell me if I'm reading it wrong, but we're handing over a $60,000 asset, just here you go, and we only get it rent-free for 10 years," he said.
"At an absolute minimum, why wouldn't that be forever Mr Mayor?
"You've got to be joking, why would we be happy with that for just 10 years? We should have guaranteed access as long as we want it."
The tower hosts council CCTV cameras that monitor Dungowan Dam in case of earthquakes or extreme flooding, as well as emergency services radio equipment.
The council made a deal with police in 2019 to construct the tower on the Mount Fairview site.
On Tuesday night, councillors refused a Deed of Transfer that would see the $59,000 tower - not including the cost of council infrastructure on it and preliminary design and investigation works - handed to NSW Police.
Mayor Col Murray said if there was an appetite to revisit the discussion with police about both ownership and access, it would be appropriate.
"I suggest it would be handy for the staff going back to NSW Police to say the council considered this matter and would be unwilling to sign the existing deed unless there was an indefinite rent-free period," Mr Logan said.
"My view is rather than leave it on the table, this is an outcome the council has resolved and what does the NSW Police think about that?"
The council will ask NSW Police to give it indefinite access for the life of the asset.