Miriam Vale residents want council to spend less

MIRIAM Vale residents have questioned whether the proposed $6-million spend on their town is necessary.

Yesterday, a petition with almost 200 signatures was presented to Mayor Gail Sellers by Miriam Vale Lions Club president Larry Halbert, calling for more consultation and a review of plans for the town.

The petition states the need for more consultation and clarification on some points raised in a report assessing the impact on trees, in particular the heritage-listed Miram Vale Fig Tree.

At a cost of $5.8 million to deliver it, the council's plan was "astronomically" overpriced, Mr Halbert says.

"We don't wish to be seen as holding up any development because we desperately need it, but this is a bit beyond what we need to spend," Mr Halbert said.

He said a study commissioned by the Lions Club a decade ago showed the development could be achieved at "significantly lower" cost to ratepayers.

"At that time, we employed a consultant to do some costing for us and that came back at just under ($500,000)," Mr Halbert said.

Mayor Gail Sellers said the council project was "much larger" than the one costed by the community, and "a magnificent concept".

"It's a huge spend for council to allocate this amount of money to a smaller area in our community," she said.

"I know there are mixed feelings, but I firmly believe the community will come along when they see how great it will be and how it will help bring people in from the Bruce Highway."

Cr Sellers said council officers had visited the town to consult with the community at least 10 times since the plans were announced, including two visits last month.

The council has already spent $23,000 on developing the plans for the new streetscape and altered them at least three times to reflect the community's needs, she said.