TOWN COUNCIL NEWS IN BRIEF
Almost one and half million litres of water will likely go down the drain from the town’s indoor pools in a warranty job to repair tiling.
“In a desert town?” queried Councillor Jade Kudrenko, incredulous.
Director of Corporate and Community Services, Craig Catchlove, said council would love to make use of the water, but its water tanker trucks, carrying only 28,000 litres, could not take it fast enough. He said a condition of the warranty was that the company, Ceramic Solutions, remain in control of all aspects of the job, including the draw down of water.
Cr Jamie De Brenni suggested Sitzlers be approached to see if they had the capacity to take the water for use in their ongoing earthworks at Kilgariff. Mr Catchlove said he would look into it.
Council stands to lose $50,000 in revenue from foregone Learn to Swim lessons during the repairs scheduled for March, as well as further losses from other pool visitors and kiosk sales. Refilling the pools will cost around $2500.
Mayor Damien Ryan expressed concern for the children who will miss out on their Learn to Swim, and wanted council to review the situation.
The Alice CBD has again lost precious trees. The slender gums that softened the Bath Street frontage of the Kmart block have been removed by owners of the property, Yeperenye Pty Ltd. This follows council’s approach to them to undertake repairs to the footpath, damaged by the tree roots. Cost of the repair was estimated at $45,000. According to council documents, the company refused to pay but removed “the offending trees”.
The footpath from Wills Terrace to the RSL, running parallel to Todd River, will be widened and in the process reconstructed – skirting sacred sites – at a cost of more than $170,000. This does not include the cost of removing and reinstalling the plaques installed there ahead of last Anzac Day, to make this “The Australian Armed Forces Commemorative Walk”.
A cheaper option – by more than 50% – of adding strips either side of the existing path was approved by council last August. This approval was rescinded in Monday’s meeting on the basis of comments by Mayor Ryan and Cr De Brenni on the poor structural integrity of such a path. There was no reference to structural integrity as an issue in the report to councillors from Technical Services. Cr Kudrenko (pictured) made a formal complaint about the inadequacy of the report: as an elected member she needed to be able to rely on quality information in the reports before her. Cr Eli Melky agreed with her that this was a “very important” issue; however he did vote in favour of the rescinding and the new approval. Cr Kudrenko abstained from the vote although did not call for a division.
Cr Melky requested a report from the new Director of Finance on what further information could be provided to the open section of council meetings. Cr Melky’s persistent pressure on this issue has resulted in the monthly publication of detailed financial information that can be scrutinised by councillors in public.
After nine years of service Craig Catchlove is resigning from council’s executive, it was announced on Monday. Acting CEO Greg Buxton thanked him for his service, saying that he had been invaluable in the position.
– Kieran Finnane