The Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) has welcomed a $400,000 plan by the South Burnett Regional Council to replace footpaths in the town’s CBD.
Cr Kathy Duff told the MBDA’s monthly meeting on Thursday night the Council was considering allocating the money in its 2014-15 Budget after a quote to repair the footpaths came in at $120,000.
“If we just repaired the footpaths we’d probably be looking at spending the same amount again in a few years,” she said.
This made complete replacement a more attractive option.
She said Council was also considering a new footpath in Gore Street to connect the Town Hall with the new Youth Skate Park and the childcare centre.
Cr Duff warned that both proposals have yet to pass through the full Budget process, but said if the MBDA was in favour of the idea it would encourage Council to approve the projects.
Members said they were in favour but would appreciate it if disruption to the town’s businesses could be minimised during construction.
Fears that Murgon’s swimming pool might have to close because of structural problems have been allayed.
Cr Kathy Duff told Thursday’s MBDA meeting a recent inspection of the pool by Council engineers had found problems with the pool were “nowhere near as bad as we first thought”.
She said Council now plans to undertake repairs to the pool in the coming year.
This work will include replacement of the existing kiosk and amenities blocks.
She said the upgrade should ensure the pool remains in operation for “the next 30 years”.
A safety audit of Murgon’s CBD will be carried out by police and council officers later this month.
The audit will examine a range of issues, including adequate lighting.
MDBA members requested the audit team pay particular attention to the area between the post office and the Commonwealth Bank, where the old railway track crosses Lamb Street.
Recently vandals had smashed shop windows in the area, they said, and were able to escape along the old track because of poor lighting.
Levers Road at Tablelands will be open again by Christmas.
The road has been closed since last June after a catastrophic landslip left Council engineers concerned that a complete road collapse was imminent.
Cr Duff reported that Council has since reached an agreement with a local landholder to resume a small portion of land to rebuild the road on a new alignment.
Work on the new road section is expected to begin in the next few months.
The MBDA will approach Queensland Police to see if a guard dog and handler can be stationed in the town for two months to help reduce vandalism.
Members heard that a wheelie bin had recently been set alight at the Murgon Showgrounds, and there were concerns that worse damage could occur if security issues weren’t addressed.
Members also heard the town was suffering a shortage of available police numbers at present due to the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane.
MBDA chairman Leo Geraghty told the meeting he’d recently called Murgon police station and been told that apart from an officer guarding the watchhouse, all other officers were either involved in prisoner transport work at the time, or taking forced holidays in advance of the G20 so that police numbers would be at full strength during the summit.
He said he hoped the situation would correct itself soon.
Murgon’s Apex Club may have to close because of a lack of new members, Thursday’s meeting heard.
The club has a long history in Murgon and Apex accepts members between the ages of 18 and 45, and meets fortnightly.
Kingaroy’s Apex Club was forced to close several years ago due to lack of new enrolments.
Murgon Rotary Club’s current campaign to raise $70,000 to purchase a new bus for the Castra Retirement Home is already 40 per cent of the way towards its goal.
Former Murgon Shire Mayor Bill Roberts said the club has already raised $30,000, and will continue to pursue fundraising activities in coming months.
The bus is used to transport residents to activities outside the retirement facility.
But because it requires wheelchair access, a replacement will be more expensive than a normal bus.
The facility’s existing bus was purchased secondhand and is now “long past its use-by date”.
Murgon’s PCYC will probably run under temporary management until a replacement is found for current PCYC Manager Sgt Michael Eadie, who is being transferred to Brisbane’s PCYC at Lang Park.
Thursday’s meeting was told that Sgt Eadie has been promoted because of the excellent work he did at Murgon, and will be leaving to take up his new posting on June 28.
Until a new police officer is appointed to fill his role on a full-time basis, Murgon officer Jamie Hastie will be standing in to ensure the centre continues to operate as usual.
The meeting passed on its congratulations to Sgt Eadie, acknowledging the “major improvements” he had made to the facility during his five year tenure.
Murgon will hold its “biggest ever” Anzac Day celebrations in 2015 to mark the centenary of Anzac and a visit by dignitaries from Dodewaard in the Netherlands.
Former Murgon Shire councillor Richie O’Neill will be in charge of the town’s Anzac Day commemorations, and planning had already begun.
The Anzac Day commemoration committee is currently seeking a band to provide marching music for the event, as well as a piper.
Murgon’s 2014 Christmas Fair committee will be holding a meeting at the Murgon Visitor Information Centre in Lamb Street between 5:30pm and 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 25.
The Christmas Fair will be celebrating its 18th year in 2014.
Chairman Mark Smith said that anyone who had new ideas for the popular event or wanted to get involved in organising it was very welcome to attend.
Cr Duff told Thursday night’s meeting the South Burnett Regional Council’s Road Levy “is here to stay” – or at least, until the Council can get adequate road funding from the Federal Government restored.
This was in response to news that a petition was circulating in Murgon opposing the levy.
She told the meeting that in her experience good roads were “the single biggest issue” with all South Burnett ratepayers, and the only way the Council could keep roads in good shape after the Federal Government slashed road funding two years ago was to introduce the levy.
She said the cost of keeping the region’s roads and bridges in good shape was far more expensive than many people realised.
“Just look at the Silverleaf Bridge,” she said.
“Replacing that bridge will cost about $2 million. And that’s just one bridge.
“All the bridges in our region have hit their ‘use-by’ date.”
She said that in the case of the Silverleaf Bridge, Council was looking at spending $60,000 to temporarily lower water flows so engineers can inspect the bridge’s footings to see if the structure can be reinforced.
If it can, this would delay the need for a full replacement, but ultimately it would have to be done.
“I’ve attended these meetings almost every month for the last six years,” Cr Duff said, “so you couldn’t say that I’m unapproachable.
“I’m really annoyed that I only heard about this petition indirectly.
“If people want to know what the real situation with our roads is, they only have to ask me.”
The MDBA would like Council’s animal control officers to locate and destroy two dogs which recently dragged off and killed a small dog in the town’s main street.
Thursday’s meeting heard the dogs had been seen roaming the town’s streets recently, and could pose a danger to other animals and small children.
The MDBA’s next meeting will be held at Reflections Coffee Lounge on Thursday, July 10, at 6:30am. Potential new members are very welcome to attend.