Property owners willing to pay 50% of costs can apply for work such as bitumen sealing, kerb and guttering and other works to be carried out under Council’s Self Help Policy. Applications are reviewed once a year in during preparation of Council’s Management Plan.
At Council’s Works Committee meeting on April 14, 2009 it was recommended that a report be brought to Council on the feasibility of a policy that allows rural road sealing for the frontage or part frontage of a property with costs shared on a 50/50 basis by the owner and Council. Council regularly receives requests to carry out dust suppression in front of rural dwellings constructed close to the road but is unable to meet these requests because available dust suppressant agents have a short life span on the road requiring repeated application to be effective, making the cost of this work prohibitive. The most effective solution to dust nuisance is to bitumen surface the road but Council currently has no policy enabling isolated sections of road to be sealed for this purpose. During discussion of the report Councillors considered that a more general policy providing guidelines to enable voluntary contribution from the community to a wide range of works within the road network, and not limited to bitumen sealing, would be desirable. Many Councils have policies allowing property owners to contribute either all or part of the cost of roadworks on public roads and setting out criteria for approval by Council of these works.
It is considered that it would be appropriate for Council to adopt a policy to enable contributions from the community towards road infrastructure projects other than projects associated with development applications, to be accepted. It is proposed to develop guidelines to allow contributions to be considered for the full range of road and transport infrastructure and to incorporate these in the next review of the Road Network Management System.
For the specific case of dust sealing of roads it is suggested that the policy should require at least 50% contribution to the full cost of sealing of a minimum length of 100 metres in front of the applicant’s property, including any earthworks, formation or drainage works, pavement upgrading and bitumen sealing to the minimum width of new works of 6 metres.
In order for Council to consider the impact of its contribution to the cost of these works on its overall works program, it is proposed that all applications for participation in the scheme be considered in conjunction with the next year’s Management Plan. It is envisaged that any projects approved for funding under the policy would be funded in the following financial year budget, with a maximum amount for Council’s contribution to self help projects to be determined each year, based on consideration of submissions received. Council may also elect to place an upper limit on the funding it will allocate to the scheme to limit the impact these works may have on its normal capital works program
The Self Help Program Policy provides for applications to be accepted from individuals, groups of people or business interests to provide funding for projects which may otherwise not be considered by Council for inclusion in its works program. In considering the proposals, Council could determine whether it was prepared to provide Council funding towards the project, and the extent of funding, based on criteria set out in the policy.