ON WITH THE JOB: Ballina Shire Council is seeking funds to continue upgrading the main CBD thoroughfare.
ON WITH THE JOB: Ballina Shire Council is seeking funds to continue upgrading the main CBD thoroughfare.

Mayor keen to upgrade River Street

BALLINA mayor Phillip Silver has vowed to find the $8 million needed to finish the River Street upgrade, saying it should be the council’s ‘highest priority’.

Ballina business and retail leaders say there is an urgent need for the upgrade.

Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer Nadia Eliott-Burgess said the improvements were desperately needed before the Ballina bypass was finished.

“We are very excited about the council’s decision to allocate funds to complete the CBD upgrade,” she said.

“The chamber is extremely happy that, after seven years of dialogue and some occasional intensive lobbying, the council has got it over the line.

“Members, especially traders in the Ballina town centre, have been pushing for this project to be finalised prior to the bypass.”

Treudie Kaehler, who has two businesses in River Street, was also ‘very happy’ to hear that the upgrade of River Street would be finished.

“This is something that I’ve been waiting for for a long time,” she said.

“It will make the place feel alive. If it’s a nice, vibrant place, then people will come here.”

At least $8 million is needed to finish the project.

Councillors this week voted to seek half the cost from the Federal Government, through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program grant.

But Cr Silver said he was concerned the money would not come because the program was very competitive.

He said if unsuccessful, the council should find the money from its own budget.

 Landscaped roundabouts, new street lighting, trees and street furniture and widened footpaths with new pavements are proposed.

Captain Cook Park also is to be upgraded, the council to allocate $60,000 to start work on a concept design, including a water park feature.


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