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Residents asked to comment on gravel road sealing

Rural ratepayers in Latrobe City have been asked to comment on priorities and options for sealing gravel roads.

By Latrobe City Council - 19th April 2001 - Back to News

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Rural ratepayers in Latrobe City have been asked to comment on priorities and options for sealing gravel roads.

The seeking of comment follows Councilís dedication of $500,000 from the Federal Governmentís four-year Roads to Recovery Program for sealing gravel roads in the municipality. This together with money allocated for bridgework and gravel intersection sealing amounts to one-half of the funding allocated in the programís first year.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, said that dedicating one-half of the program funding was a recognition of the large number of citizens who travel through and live on gravel roads, but it would only go part of the way towards sealing all of the municipalityís rural roads.

"To seal all Latrobeís gravel roads would cost in excess of $30 million, which is why we are asking rural residents help prioritise which roads they would like to see sealed," Cr Jenkins explained.

"Over the last four years, Council has been approached by many rural residents seeking the sealing of local roads with or without local resident contribution. In the past an evaluation has taken place which outlines the cost of sealing the road and the relative usage - local residents versus general and through use. After this evaluation a nominal fee per property is decided and a process of consultation to discuss that allocation and residents willingness or otherwise to contribute. In many cases the sealing program does not go ahead for want of local resident support. In others, with the support of local residents, a special charge scheme is instituted. In some cases the full cost of the works has been borne by the owner," Cr Jenkins said.

"In the past, the cost of the work in these special charge schemes could amount to $10,000 or more per resident. However, Council is proposing that these costs can be subsidised from the Roads to Recovery Program funding, making the cost per resident more affordable. Council will put a ceiling of $4000 on contributions that any resident or property owner would pay towards sealing works, and that would apply only where there is majority support for a special charge scheme in their area," Cr Jenkins said.

"It is Councilís view that if the majority of residents of a particular area do not wish to have a road sealed, then a seal and charge will not be imposed upon them. If the majority of residents wish to have a seal but are unwilling to consider a contribution, then that proposal to seal will be evaluated and prioritised against other road sealing proposals, including those where contributions from owners are confirmed," Cr Jenkins said.

"Essentially, Council wants to know from rural residents if they want their road to be sealed; whether they would be prepared to make some contribution to the cost of sealing, and if so, how much; and if there is anything about their road such as usage by others or improvements to alternative routes, which would assist Council in deciding the priorities for the sealing of gravel roads.

"Council has a difficult decision in the allocation of the gravel roads sealing component of the Commonwealth funding this year although expect Council to continue with allocation over the full 4 years of the package. Any comments rural residents may be able to provide to assist Council, will be appreciated," Cr Jenkins added.

Submissions may be sent to Latrobe City Council at PO Box 345, Traralgon; or left at any Council office. Residents may also wish to write to their local Councillor directly. Enquiries can be made to Murray Kent at Latrobe City on 1300 367 700.

Additionally, A number of forums attended by Ward Councillors are also being planned for rural areas to hear first hand any issues residents may wish to raise. Submissions close Monday 30 April.


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