28 May, 2015

LCC Budget and Operational Plan 2015-16

Click on the council letter to enlarge

Draft 2015-2016 Operational Plan
Community Information Meeting Notes
Held at Capertee Valley on 29 April 2015 at 6.00pm.
Present: The Mayor, Councillor Statham, Deputy Mayor; Councillor Thompson, Councillor Hunter, Roger Bailey, Juli-Ann Brozek, Iain Stewart, Andrew Muir, Deborah McGrath.

Approximately 30 members of the Capertee Valley community

1. Council Communications
There was discussion about how Council communicates with the community. It was noted thatparts of the valley do not receive Council Connections (there are two postcodes 2846 and 2849) and have difficulty with electronic media due to internet service. The question was asked “why doesn’t Council distribute the newsletter and other information with the Rate Notices?”

Council Connections has a distribution of approximately 10,000 householders in the Lithgow LGA and currently is distributed four times per year by Australia Post Unaddressed Delivery Service, placed on Council’s website and also distributed via an email distribution list.

In 2015/16, Council will be distributing one edition of Council Connections via the rates notice per year. This will be the first rates notice which is mailed out to approximately 9,500 rate payers in August. It was noted subsequent rate notices reduce in number due to people paying in full. Furthermore not all rate payers live in the area and many residents who live in the area are not ratepayers will not receive a copy of this edition.

The October Edition of Council Connections will be replaced by the 2nd Annual Year In Review.

This is a 50 page glossy document which provides a review of Council Activities for the previous financial year (2014/15). This is distributed to local businesses throughout the area and is available on Council’s website.

The summer and autumn editions of Council Connections will be distributed via the Australia Post Unaddressed Delivery Service. Council will ensure that both 2846 and 2849 post codes are included on the list of post codes for delivery.

2. Fit for the Future
The community member’s present raised concerns that they were not consulted on this issue and did not have the opportunity to comment. They request that the opportunity to view Council’s submission to the State Government.

The General Manager noted that ‘Fit for the Future’ has been publicised widely and that the first round of consultation closed on 1 May. It is intended that a second round of consultation, time permitting, will be undertaken prior to Council’s submission being finalised. In the event that a second round of consultation is undertaken this will be promoted through local media, Council’s website and Facebook pages.

3. Rates Notice Mail Outs
The question was asked – why does Council mail out multiple accounts in separate envelopes to the one address, can’t all accounts be combined or sent in one envelope?
The notices are matched by Council's printing house and where possible multiple  notices are included in the one envelope. The software checks run during printing would not be able to cater for all matches, as the names and formatting must be identical for example an extra space or the names being in a different order would result in the notices not being matched for enveloping.

3. Amalgamation
How come Lithgow Council hasn’t been asked to amalgamate?
The General Manager provided a general response on this matter. However more information is available at: www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au in the ‘Final Report – Revitalising Local Government’.

4. Waste Charges
Why are we charged to use the tip?
The rural waste charge is applied to properties in rural areas for access to Council’s Waste Facilities and Transfer Stations. It covers costs associated with maintaining these facilities.

5. Glen Davis Tip
A number of suggestions were raised regarding better management of the Glen Davis Tip
including:  Implementing community management of the tip.
 Better signage at the tip indicating what should go where and profiting scavenging.
 Someone employed for a buyback shop.
In addition the following issues were raised:
 TV’s are being smashed for the copper wiring and glass is where you drive.
 Refrigerators – being smashed and releasing the compressor gas into the ozone.
 $10,000 previously in the budget for a transfer station in reserve. It is no longer in there, what has happened to this money?
 Too much scrap metal and green waste at the tip, can it be taken away?
 Can the feral cats be eliminated?

Following the meeting, Council has started to investigate the issues of signage, Greenwaste and steel. The Local Land Services have been contacted seeking advice on feral cat control.
Discussions have commenced with interested community members regarding Community Management of the tip. Council is now awaiting representation from the community regarding this matter.

6. Signage
Can a sign be placed at the boundary between Mid-Western and Lithgow Local Government Areas near Mt Marsden?
This matter will be investigated.

7. Tourism
What is Council doing to capitalise on tourism in the area?
The Tourism Advisory Committee sets 3 key actions from the Destination Management Plan –
Tourism Strategy annually to be implemented. So far this year, Council has installed two RV Friendly locations in the LGA at Kremer Park and Lake Wallace. The Tourism Manager has attended a number of Major tourism expos including one in New Zealand where she gave a presentation on the Local Government Area. A number of items promoting tourism were included in the presentation for 2015/16 including allocation of $40,000 per annum for three years to develop and implement a regional marketing campaign.

Donna Upton from Capertee Valley Alliance also outlined some of the tourism strategies they have been working on including a detailed submission for Gateway signage to the valley at Capertee and Rylstone/Kandos, attendance at the Australasian Bird Fair, lobbying for the upgrade of Pearsons Lookout and working with Council to develop the lookout, working with National Park and the second printing of the Bird Brochure which was funded by Council.

8. Roads
a. Port Macquarie Road
It was noted that the endangered species on Port Macquarie Road may not be as endangered as first thought, it is now flourishing. The road has only been graded 1½ times in 10 years. As the road leads to the National Park it is embarrassing. It also has increased traffic now due to the National Park. Can Council please grade this road?
The General Manager, Group Manager Operations, Deputy Mayor Councillor Thompson and
Councillor Hunter inspected the road prior to the meeting and agree that the road needs a lot of work. Council has commenced discussions with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to ascertain where they get their road base and whether this can be used on the road.

b. Grading of roads in the Valley
Is there a timeline when a grader will be in the Valley? It was stated at the meeting that previously an undertaking had been given for all roads to be graded once a year. It was asked if they could be inspected annually.
All roads in the Capertee Valley are inspected on a quarterly or as needs basis. Grading commenced on the Glen Davis Road during the week beginning 11 May.

c. Glen Alice Road to Mt Marsden
When will the line marking be done at Mt Marsden?
As Line marking is undertaken by a contractor this will be done when there is a sufficient amount of road works to be marked in the valley.

Can sealing the 400m between sealed surfaces on Glen Alice Road be completed?
Subject to funding this will be undertaken during the 2015-16 year.

Can Council remove the overhanging branches Glen Alice Road as they are dangerous?
Due to budget constraints limited removal of dangerous overhanging branches will be undertaken on a restricted basis.

Can Council resurface Glen Alice Road between Port Macquarie Road and the northern entrance to Dunville Loop?
Routine maintenance will be undertaken on this section of Glen Alice Road.

d. Genowlan Road
The pipe on Genowlan Road has been put in the wrong location. It needs to be moved. It was noted that when Council was contacted regarding the relocation of this pipe that the resident was told to contact the contractor who installed it. Council is the contractor. Can this be relocated?
An onsite inspection to ascertain the issues with this matter will be coordinated by the Group Manager Operations.

e. Road side verges
Can Council develop a program of regularly spraying the verges on Glen Alice, Glen Davis and Noola Roads rather than slash/mow them. Mowing brings kangaroos to eat the fresh pick which is dangerous on the road. Spraying does a better job. Also grass is growing through the tar in a lot of spots.
Council will be slashing and then spraying the verges in coming weeks.

f. Noola Road
This road receives the least amount of maintenance of all roads in the valley. The sealed section is threatened by encroaching weeds and grasses and the surface of the unsealed section becomes dangerous in wet weather.
The encroaching grass/weeds will be sprayed as part of the verge spraying program.

g. Regional Roads Status
Why doesn’t Glen Davis Road receive funding from State Government? The General Manager explained that Glen Davis Road was removed from the Regional Roads register when the boundary changes occurred during 2014/05. It was requested that Council lobby the State Government to have Regional Roads Status reinstated on Glen Davis Road.
Council will write to the Roads & Maritime Services District Manager regarding this matter.

9. Emergency Bypass – Glen Davis
It was noted that during flooding the bridge to Glen Davis is impassable. Is it possible to have the height of the bridge raised as the road used previously as an emergency bypass is through private property and the owners lock the gate?
Unfortunately, Council cannot raise the bridge. A new bridge would be required to be built insitu which would require significant funding. As to the previous bypass, this is through private property and Council does not have any power to enforce the use of a road through this property as an emergency bypass.

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