TWO councillors are hoping their idea to redirect $4.25 million to Bathurst's deteriorating roads will be supported at the upcoming council meeting.
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Ian North and Warren Aubin have submitted a joint notice of motion proposing to redirect money in the budget from the Carrington Park grandstand project to road repairs.
The motion also requests that council reassess its urban road reseal program.
The idea was initiated by Cr North, who then took it to Cr Aubin, with the two agreeing to lodge the notice of motion together.
Cr North said that Bathurst was in an "unprecedented" situation with its roads, which has necessitated this kind of response.
To him, it's a matter of priority.
"It has to be the roads. We talk about sports tourism, we talk about cultural heritage tourism, we talk about the growing status of Bathurst - what does every one of those people use the majority of the time? Our roads," Cr North said.
"Let's get it right. Let's improve it. Here's a wonderful opportunity and I certainly hope my fellow councillors support me on it."
He obviously already has the support of Cr Aubin, who believes the roads are more important than a grandstand at this time.
"We'd be putting a project on hold, because, as far as I'm concerned, an upgrade to the Carrington Park grandstand can wait," he said.
"... For a piece of infrastructure that doesn't get used very often, I think the public would be a little bit annoyed if we were putting $4.25 million into that when we've still got roads that are far from good."
The two councillors anticipate Bathurst Regional Council could receive around $500,000 from other levels of government for road repairs following the recent flooding, however, Cr Aubin said this would not be enough.
An additional $4.25 million not resolve the enormous backlog, but it would ensure more roads get the urgent repairs they need.
"Let's use that, let's get in and fix these roads and do it now while we can, rather than waiting another two years to get the money into the budget then," Cr Aubin said.
"The roads would just be falling down around our ears."
There are a number of roads Cr Aubin and Cr North believe need immediate attention, including Lagoon Road and Durham Street, but they will be leaving it up to council's engineering department to determine which roads are repaired with the new funding.
"I know some councillors say, 'Well, what are the roads you want?'. Well, I'm not the expert, our senior staff are. Darren [Sturgiss] and his senior managers in engineering will know the roads," Cr North said.
Councillors will have the opportunity to vote on the motion put forward by councillors Aubin and North at the December 14 ordinary council meeting.
The grandstand project will lose its funding if enough councillors support the project, but it won't be forgotten.
Cr North said council can come back to the project later and also look for any funding opportunities that could support it.
"It's not a high priority at the moment. It's something we'll look at and it's still one of those things that we put down into the future," he said.
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