April 16, 2019
The South Burnett Regional Council is expected to approve the design that will be used on a $1.24 million upgrade of Murgon’s CBD footpaths at its monthly meeting on Wednesday (April 17).
The Council will announce which of four possible designs will be used after putting them out to public consultation last month.
On Tuesday, Mayor Keith Campbell said the project will be paid for through a combination of funding sources.
The State Government’s Works For Queensland program will contribute $740,000 towards the cost, and the $500,000 balance will come from Council’s asset depreciation fund.
Work on upgrading the footpaths is expected to begin early in the new financial year.
An upgrade of the CBD’s footpaths has been a long-standing project of the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA).
The MBDA first raised the need to fix the town’s footpaths in 2014.
The project was initially estimated to cost $400,000, but this rose to $600,000 after an engineering report disclosed the footpaths were in worse condition than first thought.
However, it had to be deferred soon afterwards when Murgon’s Jubilee Swimming Pool required an urgent $1.2 million upgrade.
In November 2016, with the pool re-opened, the MBDA proposed the footpath project be put back on the agenda for Council’s 2017-18 Budget.
In July the following year, the Council secured $240,000 through Works For Queensland to repair a small section at the southern end of Lamb Street.
But the remainder had to wait a further two years while the Council diverted the bulk of its funds to road maintenance.
Last November, Mayor Campbell announced a plan to spend $1.24 million on the footpath project.
$240,000 would be allocated to repair a section at the southern end of Lamb Street in the 2018-19 Budget; and the bulk of the job would be carried out in 2019-20.
The Mayor told southburnett.com.au at the time that while $1.24 million might sound like a lot for two footpaths on either side of Lamb Street, the project was much bigger than it seemed.
“Council will be using this as an opportunity to upgrade or replace all the infrastructure below ground as well as the footpaths,” the Mayor said.
“Murgon is in much the same position as Kingaroy is right now.
“Most of the infrastructure was laid down 60 to 70 years ago, and it’s pretty close to the end of its working life.
“So if we’re going to replace the CBD’s footpaths, this is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade the infrastructure so it will last another 60 or 70 years.”
The Mayor warned the main problem Council faced was the exact condition of the underground infrastructure would not be known until the existing footpaths were removed.
This meant staff had to make an “informed guess” about the likely total cost of the project.
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UPDATE March 17, 2017: The South Burnett Regional Council voted unanimously at its April meeting to accept the first of the four design options it proposed for the footpaths.
Option 1 – a design currently used on a strip of footpath near Murgon’s Post Office – was preferred by the Murgon Business and Development Association, and by more than one third of respondents to a public consultation process.
On Wednesday afternoon, MBDA president Leo Geraghty said he was very pleased the Council had selected the option preferred by most CBD traders.
He also praised Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff for her hard work on the project over several years.