Casino, centre of excellence

THE ‘war zone’ that has been Casino town centre for the past eight months should start looking better in the next few weeks.

That’s the word from Richmond Valley mayor Col Sullivan, who said he had received surprisingly few complaints from the public about the ongoing $2.7 million project to upgrade Walker and Barker streets.

While he regrets the $500,000 blowout of the project’s original $2.2 million budget, Cr Sullivan is satisfied there were valid reasons for the cost overrun.

“A cost overrun of almost 25 per cent is substantial, but there werereasons for it,” he said.

“A lot of extra work has been done for that money.

“Recent storms highlighted problems with stormwater drainage and part of the cost overrun has gone to correct that.

“We’ve also installed conduits for underground power which will allow the council to one day take all the power poles out of the main street, which in turn will overcome the bird problem.

“Effectively, for $500,000 of council funds, the Casino CBD will receive a $2.7 million upgrade.

“That’s a good investment in the future.”

The Federal Government has provided a $2.2 million grant for the project.

Meanwhile, Cr Sullivan said the end of the project was in sight and he was hopeful the community’s patience would last a little longer.

“It was always planned that the upgrade would take until June to complete,” he said.

“And while I did say it would be finished for Beef Week, it will be 95 per cent done.

“However, it won’t affect Beef Week.”

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