Cape Paterson Road And Drainage Upgrade Project Finalised

Bass Coast Shire Council has completed the proposed design for the upgrade of unsealed roads and drainage in Cape Paterson.

The design was developed with input from the community after a number of information sessions were held in April last year.

Community members also had the opportunity to contact Councillors and Council Officers to express how they’d like their streets to look and feel.

“The input from property owners in the area has been really valuable in developing a design proposal that best meets the infrastructure needs of the community,” Council’s Infrastructure Director, Felicity Sist, said.

“The design includes the construction and sealing of roads, but also the installation of kerbs and improvements to stormwater drainage by replacing open drains with underground ones, and putting drainage in areas that currently don’t have any.”

Ms Sist said the design also aims to improve the natural amenity of the streets by softening the hard infrastructure through coloured kerbing and increasing the amount of indigenous trees and vegetation in the streets.

Council undertakes these types of upgrade projects in order to improve infrastructure to benefit those in the community. The Cape Paterson project is estimated to cost over $7 million, with Council contributing around $1.5 million.

For the project to go ahead, property owners in areas that benefit from the project will be required to make a contribution towards the costs of the work.

“This is a matter of equity. When people buy a property or land in developed areas, included in the price is tens of thousands of dollars in infrastructure costs. It would be most unfair to make these residents pay again for someone else’s infrastructure. In many older developments, infrastructure was never put in place. This might have been adequate when populations were smaller, but as townships grow, there is a need to improve infrastructure.

Sealing roads in residential streets not only improves access and mobility for vehicles, but helps to reduce excessive dust generated from unsealed roads,” Ms Sist said.

“Whilst some residents aren’t concerned by dust, many are – especially those who suffer from common respiratory ailments such as asthma. Complaints relating to dust from unsealed roads in residential areas are one of the most common complaints Council receives across the Shire, including in Cape Paterson.

“Unsealed roads are also prone to potholes and corrugations, which create issues for both motorists and pedestrians.”

Ms Sist said improving drainage would eliminate flooding to some properties caused by excessive stormwater runoff, as well as preventing water from lying stagnant in the street.

Having the preliminary design finalised is just the first step in a democratic process in which residents decide whether the project will go ahead.

The next step is for Council to decide if it will commence the process for a possible special charge scheme for the area at the February meeting. Should Council endorse the process, this will open up the project to formal submissions from residents.

Completing the design meant that it could be fully costed. In doing so, it is clear that the contributions to be paid by many properties will be significantly less that the numbers thrown around by many in the early days of discussion. This should be very good news to many residents.

“Following this consultation process, Council will ultimately make a decision to proceed, abandon or vary the scheme. However, should more than 50 per cent of affected land owners reject the scheme, then it will not proceed,” Ms Sist said.