MORE than $40,000 of community grant funding has been awarded to communities in Great Lakes, giving North Arm Cove its first public toilet and Pindimar a solar power system.
Port Stephens MP Craig Baumann said it was a great feeling calling the successful applicants last week.
President of the Pindimar Bundabah Residents Association Ian Treharne said the vibe was "euphoric" when he learnt they would be getting $17,000 solar power system in their community hall and fire station.
"We were hopeful but weren't confident," he said.
The volunteer organisations pay for the electricity costs out of fundraising activities and throughout the life of the system the group expects to save about $50,000.
"Electricity costs about $2000 a year and as a community we have to pay that ourselves," president of Pindimar Tea Gardens Rural Fire Service Peter Economos said.
"And the cost of power is going up all the time," he said.
The hall is frequently used for community meetings and functions and the fire station plays a vital role in the fire prone area.
The program will also see North Arm Cove get its first public toilet with Great Lakes Council receiving $14,575 funding to build a unisex toilet with baby change area. Great Lakes Council will also receive $10,000 to upgrade the external toilets at the Tea Gardens Pool to equal access.
"These amenities serve the busy foreshore reserve as well as the pool and the library," Mr Baumann said.
"They were built in the 1970s and the upgrade to equal access will mean more people can use them and they will become Tea Gardens' first equal access amenities."