Roads, parks and lanes got surprise $880K Christmas present
BALLINA Shire Council has discovered they have been allocated an extra $880,000 of Federal Government funding for road reconstruction on top of the original $1.76 million announced last year.
Paul Hickey, the council's general manager, said it brought the actual allocation of funds up to $2.64 million.
He said the Federal Government's Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was part of the COVID-19 stimulus program.
"Our understanding at the December meeting was that the allocation for Ballina was $1.76 million, and we though that included the first round of $880,000, but now we realised that was on top, so it's a lot of money," he said.
Mr Hickey said the Federal Government's website detailed allocations of half a billion dollars in round one, and another billion dollars in round two for roads across the country.
So Ballina Shire Council now has the chance to look into the list of works waiting for completion and add more projects to the 'to-do' list.
Discussions with the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications confirm that the additional funding was available from January 1.
The only condition is that projects must be completed by December 2021, and must be additional to existing work plans for 2020/21.
The Ballina Shire's initial allocation was $880,000 approved funding for the Ballina Heights Sports Fields lighting ($200,000), Pat Morton Car Park upgrade ($40,000), Chesworth Lane sealing ($120,000), Pimlico Hall improvements ($50,000), Wardell Hall improvements ($20,000), Ross Park playground redevelopment ($250,000), and Wollongbar Sports Fields drainage ($200,0000).
The second allocation of funds benefited the following projects:
• Upgrade of lanes ($226,000)
• Reconstruction of Eltham Road ($186,000)
• Improvement of sporting facilities ($261,000)
• Maintenance of community halls ($157,000)
• Improvement of amenities and open Space Buildings - Maintenance / Improvements ($90,000)
• Pat Morton Car Park (reversal) ($40,000).
Aboriginal Cultural approvals may delay the expenditure of $40,000 on Pat Morton Car Park, which forms part of a larger allocation of $100,000 for works in that location.
Council decided to reallocate that funding as part of the second round of funds.
Community infrastructure can include cycleways and walking paths, improvements to community facilities, landscaping such as tree planting, fencing, picnic shelters, barbecues, playgrounds, skateparks or off-road car parks such as those at sporting grounds or parks.