Mayor Bob Kirk has rejected suggestions that developer fees collected over many years have not been spent at Marys Mount.
Cr Kirk was responding to a claim by Ganter Constructions that the section 94 contributions were not being allocated to the growing suburb. The company outlined its concerns in a submission to the 2018/19 council budget and recently repeated the claim to the Goulburn Post.
Responding at the most recent council meeting, Cr Kirk said he wanted to make the “very strong” point that this was not true.
He told the meeting the council had raised $1.18 million from developers for reserve development.
“All of this money will be spent in the Marys Mount area, with the majority to be spent in the new Riverside Park that gives access from Marys Mount to the Wollondilly walking track,” Cr Kirk said.
“The council has only delayed this project because we wish to see adjacent residential development completed and to apply for government funding.”
A ‘significant’ amount had also been spent on roads. Eighty per cent of a $2.5m loan raised 10 years ago for roads had been repaid. In addition, the council had overspent by $370,000 a total $1.3m collected from developers to ensure the road network was “a high quality residential standard.”
“Additional to this, the council has forgone a number of section 94 contributions in lieu of physical works undertaken by the developer, such as roundabouts,” Cr Kirk said.
More than $1m had been spent on stormwater and $1.5m on water infrastructure. The council will also allocate a further $2m over the next four year for a reservoir and pump station upgrades, new trunk mains and other mains.
Moreover, the council had spent $1.6m on wastewater infrastructure and planned to allocate $1.5m over the next four years to upgrade pump stations and build new mains.
“It should also be noted that council has just built a $35m new sewer treatment plant which these development contributions have gone towards,” Cr Kirk said.
Meantime, councillors last Tuesday agreed to several of Ganter’s requests in regard to the suburb. The company argued for an upgrade of the Marys Mount/Crookwell Road intersection to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce danger. The council will continue discussions with the Roads and Maritime Service for this and a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists so the work can be completed in 2019/20.
In addition, a traffic management study for all of Marys Mount will be completed in 2018/19, funded from section 94 fees. Ganter argued the study was necessary given the suburb’s rapid growth.
Thirdly, a bus shelter for Mistful Park, within Ganter’s subdivision, will be considered a priority in the council’s review of its bus shelter program. This too will be funded from developer fees.
Bus shelter push
Cr Sam Rowland has argued for construction of more bus shelters around Goulburn Mulwaree.
Currently, one is built each year. Cr Rowland has previously told meetings the infrastructure was very much needed.
Councillors asked general manager Warwick Bennett to defer the current program until he completed a report. This would examine potentially increasing bus shelter construction to two per year and a review of current priorities. Councillors wanted a shelter at Blue Hills to be considered a priority. The report, to be completed within two months, would also examine construction of a footpath along Fitzroy Street (between Lamarra Place and Crookwell Road bridge) to link up with the walking track.
The move came following discussion of the council’s 2018/19 budget, which councillors formally adopted last Tuesday.
Other additions to the document include:
- $95,000 for a public art sculpture along the Wollondilly Walking Track;
- Up to $15,000 towards construction of a security fence between the Visitors Information Centre and ARTC railway land to improve security. ARTC to fund 50 per cent;
- $35,000 for this year’s Remembrance Day activities;
- $68,000 for Sanctuary Road roadworks; and
- $40,700 for an upgrade of the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery’s storage.