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SPC Ardmona offered $1m for traffic solution

A letter to Greater Shepparton City Council shows SPC Ardmona had offered to contribute $1 million to help facilitate traffic solutions if Andrew Fairley Ave closed.

DARREN LINTON June 9, 2014 3:44am

SPC Ardmona has offered a $1million sweetener to help speed up road improvements to support the closure of Andrew Fairley Avenue.

The offer is contained in a letter to Greater Shepparton City Council chief executive officer Gavin Cator which has been released as an attachment and states: ‘‘SPC recognises the need to start implementing the traffic improvements identified by the recent traffic survey as soon as possible. SPC agrees to make a contribution of $1million to facilitate this traffic solution being implemented.’’

SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly said the cash offer was suggested by the council.

‘‘Council did ask us to consider a contribution as a way to help find an immediate solution to any traffic concerns,’’ he said.

‘‘We considered it this week, and agreed to a contribution of $1million as we’re very keen to ensure there are no delays to a traffic solution.’’

The cash would fund about a third of the road upgrades required to support the dispersal of traffic from Andrew Fairley Ave if it is shut.

Another document released with the agenda reveals the commercial value of the land if it ceased to be a public road is $295000.

The agenda contains two recommendations: one to abandon the closure process, and another to close the road which includes the terms under which it would be sold to SPC Ardmona. Under the terms, closure of the road would be delayed until SPC Ardmona is ready to proceed with its $100million investment program and the company would have to enter into a deed that if the receipt, processing, packaging and production of fruit ceased on the ‘Road or on the SPCA Site’ it would transfer the road back to the council in its ‘original condition’ and for the same price.

Councillors will meet tomorrow at 5.30pm to decide whether the road will be closed; given the intense public interest in the matter, the meeting has been shifted to Shepparton’s Eastbank Centre.

Before consideration councillors will vote on whether to allow themselves 10 minutes each to speak on the issue rather than the usual three minutes.

The News contacted Keep Andrew Fairley Open group’s Carole Trotter, who declined to comment.

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