July 17, 2014
A planned $400,000 upgrade of Murgon’s CBD footpaths has been set back 12 months by the need to carry out urgent repairs to Murgon Swimming Pool.
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann told members of the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) at their monthly meeting this morning Council has had to defer the footpath plan until next year’s Budget so it can address the pool’s problems immediately.
Council had originally thought problems at the facility were relatively minor, but a recent engineering report had disclosed they were worse than first thought.
Council now needs to spend an estimated $600,000 to undertake major repairs.
The Mayor said Council had received advice it could delay the need for full-scale repairs if it spent $100,000 immediately on fixing the pool’s worst problems first.
“However, spending $100,000 this year doesn’t mean we’d only have to spend $500,000 next year,” he said.
“We’d probably still have to spend $600,000. And if that’s the case, I think we’d be better off doing a proper job right now than putting things off.”
The Mayor said another important consideration was that the pool was used by many local schools.
“We don’t want to have a situation where the pool has to be shut down for an extended period,” he said.
The decision to proceed on the pool had thrown a spanner in the Council’s Budget plans. The Mayor said the only way out of it was to defer a planned upgrade of the town’s CBD footpaths until mid-way through 2015.
However, Council would proceed with building a footpath from Murgon Town Hall along Gore Street to the childcare centre as previously announced.
This afternoon, Murgon businessman Mark Smith, from the MBDA, said he was happy with the decision.
“I think the pool is much more important to Murgon than the footpaths,” he said.
“We have footpaths right now but fixing the pool is something that has to be done, and I’m pleased the Council is acting on it so promptly.”
Mr Smith said he thought deferring the footpath project would also allow more time for planning how to carry out the upgrade with minimal disruption to shoppers and local businesses.