Good news for some in special street schemes

David Braithwaite

PROPERTY owners in two special charge street schemes will receive a lower than expected bill for road upgrades.

Wellington Shire Council has approved the final cost certificates for works in Cunninghame as well as Pearson and Simpson Sts, Sale, with the costs for both projects lower than estimated.

As a result, the contribution from affected property owners has been reduced.

After being completed in August, the Cunninghame St project came in at $390,114, 11.3 per cent lower than the initial estimate.

Nineteen affected property owners will pay a total of $77,020, compared to $81,233 when council approved the special charge scheme in 2015.

Upgrades of Pearson and Simpson Sts were completed in December last year, with a final cost $948,543, 13.8 per cent lower than estimated.

Owners of 51 properties in the area were to pay $330,00, but that amount has been reduced to $244,272.

Council covers the remainder of the cost through what it receives from the federal government’s Roads to Recovery program.

Three other special charge scheme projects came in over initial estimates, but property owners won’t be slugged more.

This week, council approved the $160,000 cost to upgrade Merry St, west of Powerscourt St, Maffra.

The 20.5 per cent increase from the initial estimate was attributed to the delay from when the

estimate was prepared in 2016, to the declaration of the scheme in April last year, and a contract being award three months later.

The road design in the cul-de-sac which needed to provide adequate drainage also presented a challenge.

Property owners will pay $53,200, a number based on the initial estimate.

This project was completed in September.

Last month, council confirmed the cost of two upgrades in Dundas St, Sale, were also higher than estimated.

Works between Cunninghame and Macarthur Sts, cost $348,488 (nine per cent higher), while those from Macarthur to Stawell Sts cost $340,832 (6.5 per cent higher).

The principal reason behind the increases was the replacement of the water main along Dundas St.

The scheme initially allowed for the lowering the water service crossing to each property.

Property owners’ contributions will remain based on the initial cost estimate, with those south of Macarthur St paying a total of $124,463, and those north $93,282.