SIGNIFICANT rainfall throughout summer, combined with warm weather, saw Bathurst Regional Council's parks and gardens staff working overtime to try to manage grass growth across the city.
Residents were quick to complain about the state of many public spaces, which were overgrown and in desperate need of mowing in recent months.
General manager David Sherley said council heard the complaints and was doing everything it could to try to address the situation, to the point of having staff work extra hours.
At the March ordinary council meeting, it was estimated that staff did this for around 10 weeks.
"Given all the rain and the warm weather during summer, the demands for maintaining parks, gardens and areas of the city meant that there was overtime required of staff, as well as the regular appointment of staff during the summer season," Mr Sherley said.
He said a move like this was uncommon, as the appointment of extra staff would usually be enough to manage the work load.
"We normally cater through putting on additional staff to meet these peaks, but given the exceptional circumstances of the season, there was more overtime needed than would be usual," he said.
According to Mr Sherley, budget constraints made it difficult for council to be able to respond to the situation throughout summer, but it did what it could with what resources were available at the time.
"Council understands the concerns with the maintenance cycle of the parks and gardens and certainly received feedback from the community, however council is constrained by the money that is available in the budget to undertake these works," he said.
"The staff in council responded to these needs as much as we could within those budget constraints."
Council has made it no secret that money has been tight.
Just last week, council resolved to apply for a 2.5 per cent permanent additional special rate variation, which, if approved by IPART, would enable it to increase revenue by $737,108 in the next financial year.
This would equate to around a $40 increase on the rate for the average ratepayer.
Mr Sherley said the move was necessary as, without it, council would be unable to "maintain basic services at their current levels".
The variation would only be to the general rate, not water, sewer or waste management charges.
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