Let's just get Marley St works done

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

AS a long-term resident of Marley St, and a long-term campaigner for a subsidised street reconstruction scheme, I was disappointed to read the statements made in the article on objections to council's current project.

The previous City of Sale Council scheme was not paid for entirely by council.

Residents had to contribute a portion, based on existing kerb and channelling, and length of footpaths required.

Allowing for the different basis of costing, and 30 years' inflation, the costs to residents, currently proposed by Wellington Shire Council, are quite comparable.

Marley St is an excellent location, and the contribution by residents, to a street reconstruction, will surely be reflected in improved house values.

Council has also made, what I believe to be, fair offers for extended payments.

After amalgamation, the scheme was dropped though no-one thought the residents needed to be informed.

To be fair, council's communications with ratepayers have improved markedly, since then.

Wellington Shire Council's policy, since amalgamation, has been one of full cost recovery from residents, not just partial cost.

Residents have, therefore, refused any proposed special charge schemes on the grounds that we would have had to pay the full cost, in addition to paying full urban rates for a sub-standard street.

In 2005, Crs John Jago and Peter Garlick raised the possibility of some council subsidy, but there was insufficient support from their colleagues to even justify a vote.

In 2012, Crs Scott Rossetti and Leo O'Brien submitted to council a formal proposal for subsidised street reconstruction, which was narrowly defeated.

Residents have remained open to any offers of a subsidised scheme, but until 2014, council had firmly adhered to its policy of full cost recovery hence the ongoing impasse.

My wife, and I, have been residents of Marley St for 29 years, and I was a founder member of the residents' committee.

Last year I distributed a letter, in favour of the current scheme, and followed this up with an informal survey the results of which were passed on to council.

I therefore believe I have the authority to speak on behalf of residents.

Some may not believe the current offer is totally fair, and some may benefit more than others, but this will always be the case.

This is the first reasonable offer that council has made in 25 years, and we have a majority that Malcolm Turnbull could only dream of well above the 70 per cent required by council.

Please can we get on with the job?

Let's do it!

Gippsland Senior
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