Costly fix to plug flood levee
LISMORE City Council will purchase the heritage-listed Newtrain building as part of its plan to repair the city’s damaged flood levee under a proposal to go to council on Tuesday night.
Under the plan, the council will purchase the Club Lane building for $500,000, plus $20,000 to assist the owners to relocate.
The 1970s addition to the rear of the building will then be demolished, which will allow the new section of levee to be built in a straight line with the rest of the levee wall.
The council will also consider a ‘land swap’ if six garages in Glasgow Lane, owned by Clarence Properties and also earmarked for demolition, cannot be relocated.
The council report said the loss of the garages was ‘unavoidable without expending considerable funds to construct deep pile foundations ... to support the riverbank.”
It said if a land swap could not be arranged it would have to negotiate compensation.
Five parking spaces at the council-owned car park will also be lost.
The manager of assets and support services, Scott Turner, said the $520,000 price tag did not include demolishing the rear of the building, shoring up the bank or rebuilding the levee.
The proposal follows extensive geotechnical studies by the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEG) after the levee was damaged in the May 2009 flood.
“A number of options were explored ... and the most cost effective is for the riverbank in this location to be battered to a shallow shape,” the council business papers say.
“This will require work to be undertaken on two private properties and on council’s car park.”
The levee, which has twice protected the CBD from flood inundation, was completed about five years ago at a cost of $19 million.
Preliminary repair work to test the stability of the riverbank behind Club Lane began last month after cracks in the levee caused by land slumping were discovered in February.
SMEG found the slumping was due to the unstable riverbank where the Wilsons River met Leycester Creek.
Lismore council will pay a third of Newtrain’s purchase price, with the State and Federal governments picking up the remainder.