Rate rise to fix Riverside Drive

A RISK to human life identified as too big to ignore has prompted Nambucca Shire Council to seek the support of its ratepayers for an additional one per cent rate rise for urgent repairs to one of its main thoroughfares.

Mayor Rhonda Hoban said the rate rise would enable council to raise a loan to address severe erosion issues along Riverside Drive in Nambucca Heads.

“Every time there is a storm warning for the Mid North Coast my heart misses a beat,” mayor Hoban said.

"An 85-year-old woman came close to being killed when the last landslip on Riverside Drive almost engulfed her car, and I fear houses and lives will be lost if we get hit with another major storm and haven’t fixed the landslip,” she said.

Councillor Hoban said the decision to seek the support of ratepayers for an additional one per cent rate rise wasn’t an easy one to make.

“It was the only option left given the shortfall in natural disaster funding to fix council assets damaged in last year’s series of flood events,” she said.

“We had exhausted all other options including the option of doing nothing, but the risk of people being hurt or killed and property being damaged is just too high to ignore.”

Councillor Hoban said the one per cent rate rise would net council about $73,000 which would in turn allow it to get a loan for $500,000 over 10 years.

She said the cost of rehabilitating three unstable sections of Riverside Drive was estimated at around $750,000.

“Even if the State Government grants the rate increase we will still be behind the eight ball,” she said.

“The RTA’s decision to withdraw its funding for maintenance of the Bowraville to Bellingen Road will cost council $75,000, so this rise we are asking our ratepayers to support won’t even cover that loss.”

Residents are being invited to make written submissions on the request for a rate rise by February 18, 2010

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