EXPECT to see fewer potholes as council road gangs return to their normal maintenance program, with Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements funded work almost complete in the Gympie region says Works and Service Committee Chairman Councillor Larry Friske.
Repairing the damage inflicted on the region’s roads by last month’s heavy rain has cost close to $1.5 million dollars and while much of that will be covered by the NDRRA funds, council has had to contribute some $220,000 towards it.
Because of the strict timeframe in which to complete NDRRA work, it has to have priority and routine maintenance gets put on “the backburner”, Cr Friske said.
He added there were strict guidelines as to what could and could not be claimed under NDRRA.
The March deluge also revealed to some residents that they had in fact purchased properties on “unmaintained” roads.
For example, Gardiner Road is a council- maintained road from North Deep Creek Road for about two kilometres only.
It’s a case of “caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware. Mr Friske said people buying properties should undertake a relatively inexpensive minimum rates search which would reveal whether or not a property was on a maintained or unmaintained road.
The upkeep and maintenance of roads is a skyrocketing expense for council and ultimately ratepayers, and gravel has become a costly component of expenditure.
Due to regulations imposed on gravel pits by the Department of Mines and Department of Environment and Resource Management as well as planning scheme issues, council now relies on far fewer sites, which means gravel has to be carted much longer distances.
Cr Friske said Gympie Regional Council road gangs were putting in a big effort, working overtime, including Saturdays, to try and reduce the current maintenance burden.