A combination of reserve funds, developer contributions and a $5 million bank loan will kick-start $15.9 million worth of projects for Port Stephens over the next 12 months.
Port councillors voted unanimously last Tuesday night to place the list of works - formulated through extensive community consultation - for public exhibition and invite submissions.
Shared pathways, road improvements, amenities, sporting facility upgrades and town centre revitalisation will all receive funding without the need for a rate rise.
Mayor Ryan Palmer said that the list would take the total infrastructure spend by the council for 2019-20 to almost $49 million, "showing that we're able to deliver the projects that our community wants and needs".
"I want to thank everyone who participated in the community consultation process - hundreds of people had their say in person and online. We heard your feedback and we'll be delivering these projects as a priority," he said.
Some of the major projects include pathways and town centre revitalisation at Anna Bay and Medowie, improving road safety in the west ward, demolition of the Donald Street carpark and progressing the Tomaree Sports Complex.
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One by one the councillors rose to applaud council staff and mayor Palmer on the make-up of the list, with John Nell lamenting two omissions: upgrades to the council works depots in both Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay.
Cr Sarah Smith said that a wonderful part of the process was the number of people who turned up to the community information sessions, "especially people who had never attended something like that before".
"These are projects people have been wanting and needing for a long time. I want to encourage the community to get excited, get involved, and lets work together to get all these things done," Cr Smith said.
Cr Giacomo Arnott suggested this could have been a better place for Port Stephens Council to start before going down the road of the Special Rate Variation proposal.
"This is affordable and has no negative impact on the community."
The council report stated that a total of 254 residents attended the face to face sessions, with the largest session at Nelson Bay where 80 people attended.
"There were a total of 662 visits to the dedicated web page and 253 people completed an online survey," the report said.
To have your say on the list of projects, head to portstephens.nsw.gov.au/your-council/about-council/public-exhibition.
The projects to be completed across Port Stephens are:
- Amenities replacement - George Reserve, Salamander Bay $150,000
- Foreshore improvements - Conroy Park, Corlette $178,000
- Amenities replacement - Little Beach, Nelson Bay $180,000
- Revetment work - Soldiers Point, $200,000
- Ancillary works (paths / drainage) - Shoal Bay Foreshore, Shoal Bay $550,000
- Road upgrade - Foreshore Drive, Corlette $400,000
- Stage 1, East Donald Street Carpark demolition and at grade car parking including amenities replacement - Nelson Bay $1,400,000
- Tomaree Sports Complex amenities replacement - Salamander Bay $2,000,000
Sub total: $5.058m
- Town centre improvements - Anna Bay $350,000
- Town centre improvements (including amenities) - Medowie $450,000
- Shared pathway - Waropara Road, Medowie $500,000
- Shared pathway - Avenue of the Allies, Tanilba Bay $700,000
- Shared pathway - Gan Gan Road (missing links) Anna Bay $700,000
- Shared pathway - Lemon Tree Passage road, Mallabula to Lemon Tree Passage (missing link) $800,000
- Shared pathway - Medowie Road (Ferodale Road to South Street) Medowie $850,000
- Town Centre works - Lemon Tree Passage / Tanilba Bay $600,000
Sub total: $4.95m
- Amenities replacement - Longworth Park, Karuah $120,000
- Bus interchange - Seaham $250,000
- Shared pathway - Levee bank, Raymond Terrace $300,000
- Road upgrade - Mustons Road, Karuah $500,000
- Shared paths - Fern Bay $1,000,000
- Town Centre improvements (road upgrade and streetscape) - William Street, Raymond Terrace $1,000,000
- Road upgrades - Duns Creek Road, Forest Road, Swan Bay Road $1,000,000
- Amenities/clubhouse upgrade - Stuart Park, Hinton $1,200,000
In addition to the large capital works identified above, a number of smaller maintenance requirements have been identified.
Sub total: $5.37m
Ancillary Minor Works
- Tree Works Karuah & Raymond Terrace - $70,000
- Bill Strong Irrigation - $70,000
- Nelson Bay Tennis Club Lighting - $50,000
- Supporting Park Infrastructure for Medowie Skate Park - $30,000
- Medowie Playground Fencing - $20,000
- Raymond Terrace Dog Park - $40,000
- Lemon Tree Passage Road Roundabout Beautification (Avenue of Allies) - $20,000
- Nelson Bay Road/Port Stephens Drive Roundabout Entrance Beautification - $50,000
- Salt Ash Hall Outside Toilet - $70,000
- Event Signage Nelson Bay Road, Nelson Bay - $20,000
- King Park Irrigation - $60,000
Sub total: $500,000
Grand total: $15.878m