BATHURST Regional Council is prepared to invest more than half a million dollars into footpaths around the city.
When embarking on his 2017 election campaign, councillor Alex Christian was told by residents that Bathurst better footpaths and more of them.
He took that on notice and is pleased to say that the current budget has allocated a combined $509,000 to footpath projects.
"It's fantastic. It's an issue that people constantly spoke about in the community and they identified certain areas and these are the ones that are being done." he said.
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Council has set aside $159,000 for the construction of new footpaths and has already completed some of these projects.
Among the new footpaths is one adjacent to Carrington Park on Bentinck Street, another on Howick Street between Bentinck and Havannah streets, and a third on Durham Street that runs from Mitre to Commonwealth street.
A further $250,000 has been allocated for footpath and cycleway maintenance.
"This will provide for small scale repair to existing footpaths and cycleways, as identified by my requests for maintenance inspections, addressed on a priority basis," Cr Christian said.
There is also a $100,000 funding allocation for footpath renewals.
This funding is for the complete replacement of existing footpaths and is separate to the other two funding provisions in the budget.
A recent example of a footpath renewal is alongside Bathurst Public School, where this school holidays work has been going on to replace the footpath on George Street between Lambert and Rocket streets.
In addition to these funding allocations, council has also received $210,000 from the Federal Government that it will be put towards the construction of footpaths in nearby villages.
Perthville is set to get six footpaths, while Trunkey will get two.
"It's so pleasing to announce these footpaths for our villages. I feel strongly that they should get their fair share," Cr Christian said.
Bathurst council received $1 million under the Federal Government's Drought Communities Program and the $210,000 for these footpaths is being funded from that allocation.
Cr Christian said it was important for Bathurst to have more footpaths and ones of better quality.
"For one, we've got an aging population and we also have people with disabilities; at the end of the day it's a safety issue," he said.
"It is critical that we have a high standard of footpaths."
Residents are encouraged to report footpaths in need of repair to council to ensure that they are restored.
Cr Christian said that, while regular audits of footpaths are done, council staff can't be everywhere all the time, which was why residents needed to help.
"If they just ignore them and don't notify council, that's when accidents happen," Cr Christian said.