RHETT BURNIE (North Central Review)
PLANS to construct a safety footpath in Kilmore East have been dropped by Mitchell Shire Council because the project would cost too much money.
The footpath, which would have stretched along O’Grady’s Road to the Kilmore East train station, was to be built using funding from the Regional Community Local Government Infrastructure Program (RCLIP).
But a spokesperson for Mitchell Shire Council said the council had no choice but to pull the pin on the project because "the extensive stabilisation works to banks and pedestrian safety measures along the proposed route would drive the project cost far beyond the funding allotment."
The spokesperson said geotechnical analysis had also revealed that the incline of the footpath would be arduous for many residents.
"Council recognises the need to provide a pedestrian transport link from Kilmore town centre to the train station (and) council is also working towards improving bus services to and from the Kilmore East station," he said.
However, the shire did not comment on whether or not an alternative route will be planned in the coming future.
Kilmore East resident Amy Bell said she was not happy with the council’s decision to scrap the footpath project.
"The council is about to receive large influx of new rates from the nine-lot housing development on O'Grady's Road, Victrack are currently updating the train station with new car parks (and) Kilmore East Recreation Reserve is about to have new play equipment, a fitness track and basketball ring (installed), yet the residents (of) Kilmore East - the school children - and the people who walk (or) ride to and from the station, are forced to walk on the road with buses, gravel trucks and other vehicles," Ms Bell said.
Ms Bell said she will set up a petition for a walking track.
"Kilmore East has long been an area of neglect for Mitchell Shire," she said.
"This is a significant shame, however, I will not be deterred - another petition for a walking track between Harrington Street to the O'Grady's Road T-intersection will be available at the train station for signing," Ms Bell said.
The spokesperson for Mitchell Shire Council said money from the original grant will now be used for parking improvement works at the Kilmore East Train Station
"Though council had to decline the grant, its allocation will still provide for the development of infrastructure in the Kilmore East area," he said.