Depot tipped over the edge

ONCE he'd received all the information and toured the Raleigh Depot, newly elected Bellingen Shire councillor, Ian Coe, said it became clear there was no question about fixing the depot “it was just a question of how”.

“The place had been let go to hell over many years,” Cr Coe said.

“The previous council started working towards a solution and both WorkCover and the Department of Planning were saying it had to be done.”

Cr Coe said the council had pared the project back as much as possible.

“A $7-million Greenfield site was one option ... this $3-million option has had all the non-essentials cut out.”

He said the huge public opposition to a proposed rate rise to fund the loan left the council with few revenue-raising options.

“There are few assets we could sell, maybe there is some cost cutting but really we've been left with deferring projects.

“Road works is where we started - no-one enjoys doing this.”

Cr Coe said the sad part about the anti-rate rise campaign was that ultimately all it achieved was delaying what had to be done.

“And now prices have increased. The money is coming from a small bucket - now it's harder than it need have been.”

“We can't stop providing services. It's all very unfortunate.”

Some road works tagged for deferral include drainage improvements in Bailey St, Repton, upgrade of the safety fence on Promised Land Bridge and widening of Kalang Rd at Madge's Hill.



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