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Shire of Augusta Margaret River Councillors will consider options to progress the Margaret River Main Street Redevelopment Project at the 30 January 2019 Special Meeting of Council after all tenders submitted for the works came in over budget.
Funding for the Main Street project, which aims to improve traffic flow, aid pedestrian access, address major drainage and flood management issues and generally improve the vibrancy of the town center, was awarded five years ago.
However, commencement of the project has been dependent on the completion of the Perimeter Road, which has unfortunately has been delayed. As a result, during the past five years construction costs for the Main Street project have increased beyond the amount awarded for the project. While the funding shortfall will result in a delay to the start date, Shire Project Manager Dr. Helen Whitbread said the community should remain positive about the project proceeding. “We are disappointed that we are unable to proceed at this moment and sympathise particularly with local business owners and community members, as we know there is a strong desire to see this project through to fruition as soon as possible” she said.
“There are a range of options on the table as to how best to proceed, so we will need time to consider what our optimal solution is. We’ve got one shot to get this right and we need to take stock at this critical point in the project rather than try and rush it. We are going to be living with the outcome for years to come.”
To potentially address the issue, the officer’s report that is up for Council consideration recommends the following options for adoption by Council:
That the Shire rejects all tenders on the basis that none of the prices tendered came within the budgeted and currently funded amount for construction; thereby
Allowing the CEO to enter into negotiations with the highest rated company bidding for the work, with a view to identify cost savings to meet the Shire’s financial requirements; and
Authorising the CEO to investigate additional funding options for the project, including, but not limited to, reallocation of funding from other capital budget areas listed in the Shire’s Long Term Financial Plan; as well as
For the CEO to investigate additional matching contributions to the budget shortfall from the State Government.
Dr Whitbread advised that communication was ongoing with local industry and business representatives about the project to ensure people remain informed. To that end, a Main Street Project Public Information Session will be held at the Shire Offices on Thursday February 7, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.
“We encourage interested members of the public to come along to receive the latest information about the project.” “We also have open lines of communications with our existing funding bodies,” she said, “and feel very fortunate for the support received from the State Government and South West Development Commission to date.”
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