Roads, paths, ramps & plants in council’s sights

The Wollongong City Council has announced that it’s focusing next year’s budget on infrastructure, improving footpaths, roads, gardens and parks.

The Strategic Management Plans were released today and will be on public exhibition until May 13.

The council decided on Monday to allow the public to make submissions.

“People are able to comment and ask questions about the plans and how we are using the budget. This is then reviewed and the council take the public comments into consideration and go from there,” a council spokesperson said.

The Capital Program and Budget for 2013/2014 includes $20.9 million towards roads and bridges, $2.2 million for parks, gardens and sports fields and $2.7 million for footpaths and cycle ways.

Photo: Grogan deYobbo

Photo: Grogan deYobbo

“By improving pathways we are connecting the city, [and] encouraging people to get outside and walk more. This will hopefully get people healthy and create a better lifestyle.”

Money will also be spent on buildings, car parks, beaches, pools, storm water and floodplain management.

The council’s major projects for the budget include refurbishing Crown Street Mall, replacing a bridge on Cordeaux Road, Mt Keira Road stabilisation works and the construction of roads and bridges for improved access to West Dapto.

Along with the draft annual plan the council will consider a rate increase of 3.4 per cent, as they need money to maintain council assets in the long term.

However, there are concerns surrounding the rate increase, as some people are afraid it will put a strain on household budgets.

Wollongong resident Darren Peterson fears that the increase will be a burden.

“As a university student living out of home you have very little disposable income. You live pay check to pay check. Any increase in the cost of living will hurt and potentially have an impact on your studies, especially if you have to work more just to pay the bills.”

The council will finalise the annual plan in June.

Wollongong Disability Infrastructure

Words: Kristy O’Donnell

Video: Amelia Lindsay

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