Council to consult with Keith residents over project

WORK: Tatiara District Council will consult with residents about their proposed footpath and kerbing project.
WORK: Tatiara District Council will consult with residents about their proposed footpath and kerbing project.

Tatiara District Council will consult with Keith residents over the potential continuation of a footpath and kerbing project on Bruce Avenue.

The decision to hold off on the project comes after residents declared they weren't in favour of the proposed upgrade.

Council allocated funds in this year's budget to construct kerb and gutter and a concrete footpath along the road, but due to unforeseen circumstances the project would require an additional $51,000.

"Due to the requirement to install additional stormwater the cost estimates are significantly higher than what was budgeted," director of infrastructure and operations Aaron Hillier said.

Mr Hillier said council allocates approximately $80,000 annually for kerb upgrade projects and another $110,000 for footpath/bicycle path upgrade projects within the townships of the Tatiara.

"Initial budgets are based on preliminary scoping of the project - after adoption of the budget, a detailed survey and design is carried out," Mr Hillier said.

"Cost estimates are then updated based on the detailed design. In this instance, there is significantly more stormwater drainage requirements to complete the Bruce Avenue project than initially estimated."

Although residents have voiced their displeasure about the project, if it was to be completed, it would potentially provide safety benefits.

"The aim of this infrastructure project is to improve safety for pedestrians by providing an off road footpath, improve drainage and improve the aesthetics of the streetscape," Mr Hillier said.

"The long-term aim was to continue to install kerb and gutter throughout Keith."

Mr Hillier also stated due to Keith being "extremely flat", kerb installation can become quite expensive, and would likely give council headaches in the future.

"Unfortunately, due to being extremely flat, the installation of kerb in Keith also requires expensive stormwater drainage infrastructure which will limit council's ability to provide kerbing for all urban roads in Keith," Mr Hillier said.

Mr Hillier said there have been a number of requests from residents to install kerb and gutter on other Keith streets, including March Street.

Council have listened to requests from the public, however, they believe there are other roads that they have considered as a "higher priority".

"Bruce Avenue was considered a higher priority as the residential properties have been established for longer and likely higher pedestrian numbers being located close to the Keith Area School," Mr Hillier said.

At a recent council meeting, councillors discussed the project and whether they should continue with the works, or consult with residents.

Due to the requirement of additional funding, the project will be held off until council completes public consultation.