$60,000 bill hurts pensioners, retirees


$60,000 bill hurts pensioners, retirees

Not happy: Elva Edwards opposes paying $60,000 towards upgrading Gray Street, Leongatha.

RESIDENTS of a Leongatha street are outraged they could be charged up $60,000 to upgrade their road.
South Gippsland Shire Council is proposing to seal and widen Gray Street, build footpaths on both sides, improve drainage and install traffic calming devices.
Under a special charge scheme, residents could be left paying up to $60,000 each towards the cost. Council will pay a third of the bill.
Elva Edwards has initiated a petition objecting to the scheme, saying the costs were unreasonable and declaring council was “out of touch with ratepayers”.
She described the scheme as “totally over-engineered” and developed without regard for property-owners’ ability to pay.
“The majority of the private owners are pensioners or self funded retirees. This will have a significant impact on their financial affairs and quality of life,” Mrs Edwards said.
“Why should eight people pay for traffic controls when it’s the wider community that are the ones breaking the rules?”
Mrs Edwards said drains would largely detour water running off land zoned public and believed footpaths along Gray Street would benefit the broader community by providing access to the nearby childcare and kindergarten centres.
“Also, there will be more development in Higg Street and council wants people to travel up Gray Street to McCartin Street, so we will not be the ones benefiting from it,” she said.
Mrs Edwards said she was told the $60,000 would be payable over five years and if a loan was funded through council, council would charge an extra one per cent interest on the rate it borrows the funds at.
“I don’t think it should not be sealed, but I just want a fair and equitable amount,” she said.
Mrs Edwards said Gray Street footpaths would not be linked with others and questioned the need for footpaths on both sides of the road given many new streets have only single footpaths.
Council’s engineering co-ordinator Paul Challis expected the project to come before the August council meeting, with more details of the costs faced by residents.
“Residents can then make formal submissions to council if they believe it is unfair and council can consider those submissions,” he said.
“Council will then decide whether to declare the special charge.”
Council proposed to upgrade Gray Street in 1998 and that was to cost the Edwards $17,500. Residents objected and the proposal resurfaced in 2000-2001 at a new cost to the Edwards of $18,632. Again residents opposed.

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Posted by on Jun 14 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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