Time crunch as Collinsville project sidelined to fund others
A Collinsville project has been sidelined and its funding will be redirected into alternate upgrades in the town but the deadline for project completion is looming.
A recommendation before Whitsunday Regional Council last week to redirect $400,000 of Works for Queensland funding originally approved for the Railway Road Footpath Project.
Agenda documents state community consultation showed the Railway Road project was not considered a high priority for Collinsville residents.
The recommendation outlined three alternative projects that could benefit from the funding, which were irrigating the Collinsville Showground oval, completing the missing link of footpath and pedestrian bridge on Scottville Rd and using the leftover cash for beautification on Stanley St.
But Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright had other ideas.
Cr Wright said community consultation helped reveal the projects of interest for the community and suggested scratching the irrigation project and missing footpath link works.
"The results are in and going off that, I just feel those two top projects don't meet what the people are wanting out there," Cr Wright said.
Instead, Cr Wright suggested the funds be used for an upgrade at the Collinsville tennis courts and revamps to Darcy Munro Park, Scottville Park and Lions Park to put in new equipment and seating.
The balance of the funding would still be used for beautification on Stanley St.
Cr Clifford agreed with the new projects, but noted it would be important to understand the costs.
The projects funded through Works for Queensland need to be finished by June 2021.
The council's infrastructure services deputy director Adam Hagy said he did not have an issue with changing the projects but time was against him in getting them under way.
"Playground equipment takes about eight to 12 weeks, probably best case, to get in and then we have to line up a contractor to install it," Mr Hagy said.
"I'm sure I can probably look at negotiating an extension.
"We're really, as a team, trying to get everything done by June 30, 2021, so we can put ourselves in a more advantageous position for future grants.
"There's a fair bit of homework to do with the new proposed projects."
Mr Hagy said the irrigation and footpath link projects were originally selected because they were ready to start and on the to-do list.
"I understand the feedback you have from ratepayers in Collinsville as well," he said.
The council resolved to allow chief executive officer Rod Ferguson to approve the final projects after discussions with Mayor Andrew Willcox and Cr Wright.
The motion to push ahead with the new projects was passed unanimously.