Councillors reveal they're ‘years behind’ in key service
GRAVEL roads are an ongoing lightning rod for the council, but now two Gympie councillors claim the wheels have fallen off its sealed road repairs, too.
Councillor Dan Stewart revealed at the weekend the council is "significantly behind" when it comes to resealing bitumen roads.
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In the Saturday post, he revealed how far the gap had widened compared to the "fair" of resealing a road every 15 years.
"We are sitting at about every 27 years," he said.
"We have a lot of catching up."
But this would be easier said than done under the current climate.
"With significant expense to catch-up on road maintenance and wanting to get the budget back in operational surplus we will be having a tight couple of years."
Mayor Glen Hartwig's thoughts travelled in the same direction.
"We are in a position where this organisation must make some very serious financial decisions," Mr Hartwig said.
"There is very limited funds available.
"The council has ignored … the basic responsibilities of minimum maintenance.
"We will have to play catch up.
"If we don't get on top of our road maintenance it will cost us millions more in the future.
"We are behind, we are aware we're behind, and we have to make budgetary decisions to remedy that problem unless people want to go back to horse and cart."
The revelations follow an independent report on gravel roads delivered to the council in January.
The report found the region's gravel roads were on par with other councils'.
Mr Hartwig was sceptical.
"We did 300km of grading just prior to having that report done," he said.
"Was it an adequate snapshot of our road condition?
"I'm not sure.
"In fact I don't believe so.
"A physical evaluation seemed to contradict the on-paper evaluation."