Moira Shire Council will seek grant funding for drainage upgrade works in east Yarrawonga.By Racheal Willett
Moira Shire Council will seek grant funding to pay for $680,000 of drainage upgrade works in Leah Drive and LaBamba Drive, Yarrawonga.
After analysing the results of a survey sent to property owners in the area, a report to council’s February meeting recommended “that council seek grant funds to carry out the works mentioned within the Leah Drive/LaBamba Drive Drainage Study.
“While this will delay the implementation of any works it may provide the opportunity to fund the works at a reduced cost to council as well as the community.”
The report does not specify whether that cost to the community would come out of general rates collected across the shire or the introduction of a special charge scheme for affected residents at a later date.
According to the council report, 148 surveys were sent to residents in Leah and LaBamba drives, Rebecca Way, Hollywood Crescent, Linda Crescent and Wonga Place in relation to drainage concerns in the area.
The survey followed a public meeting held in November last year which the report describes as featuring “vigorous debate” and being “quite difficult for officers to respond or to explain the issues contained within the Leah Drive/LaBamba Drive Drainage Study as some attendees had fixed opinions about the report and the issues to be discussed”.
Of the surveys sent out, 76 were returned, representing 51% of the properties in the focus area.
The respondents were asked to rank in order of preference four options;
- Implement a special charge scheme to contribute to the cost of the works,
- No change to the current drainage system,
- Have council seek grant funds to undertake changes to the drainage system in the area over several financial years and
- Council consider having the drainage upgrade works included in the capital works program staged over several years.
The survey results, for first preferences, showed 50% of respondents preferred council consider funding the work from the capital works program, 37% preferred council seek grant funding to pay for the upgrade works and 11% of people supported no change to the drainage system.
Of all the respondents, 1% had the proposed special charge scheme as their first preference.
With subsequent preferences taken into consideration the results were; Grant funding 35%, council capital works funding 33%, do nothing 20% and special charge scheme 12%.
The survey results also detailed comments from respondents, with many suggesting that the perceived inadequate drainage system was council’s problem to fix.
“Will have no part in financing to fix council drainage. Your responsibility not ours,” read a comment from one property owner.
“Fund the repairs yourself and fix it ASAP,” wrote another and “Council made the mistake in the first place so council should fix the problem”.
In response to those comments and many in the same vein the report stated, “the responsibility for funding all upgrade works is upon the owners of the allotment – those that benefit from the works. This is a clearly established principle and well used throughout the industry and Moira Shire”.
Moira Shire Council resolved to write and thank respondents for their participation in the survey, seek funding to undertake the works in the Leah Drive/LaBamba Drive Drainage Study valued at $682,250 over the next several financial years and continue to notionally allocate $150,000 within the five year capital plan as its contribution to improvement works in the area.
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