Our frustrations overflow as rain ruins the roads
FLOODS and heavy rains have kept road crews around the region busy all year and council staff have been copping the brunt from angry residents.
Lismore City Council Infrastructure Services executive director Garry Hemsworth said his staff had seen an increase in the number and ferocity of complaints about roads.
“We understand they are emotional because they are directly affected, but we try to take a more professional approach and try to get them to understand what we can and can't do,” he said. “We have to manage as best we can and under the funding constraints we have.”
Mr Hemsworth said the weather had been a further constraint this year.
“It has been frustrating in recent times,” he said. “With the flood earlier in the year it has taken us time to get on top of that, but then some of that work got washed out before we'd finished and people ask us to come back, which is disheartening.
“When council staff explain the restraints on us, people understand, but are still upset because they're not receiving the service they'd like.”
McKees Hill resident Ray Smith is just one hundreds of ratepayers who has been on the phone to the council. The unsealed roads leading to his property are littered with potholes and he claims they are damaging his vehicles.
A road crew was laying road base and filling potholes this week, but Mr Smith said it was only a patch job.
“I'm glad to see they're doing something, but I won't be happy until they do a decent job. And that means doing the drains because it will ruin the roads if they just leave the drains blocked up,” he said.
Mr Smith said that when it rained, the road went to water and washed everything away. He said the drains had not been done for 10 years.
Mr Smith said Auckram and Rogerson roads, which led from his property to the Bruxner Highway, were so bad he had to meet his daughter at the highway when she came home to visit, to make sure her car could get through.
Three years ago, the stones were so rough that they punctured tyres and the family went through nine tyres in six months, he said.