Armidale Regional Council have agreed to up their gravel road maintenance level.
Residents will now benefit from a new level of predictability of when unsealed roads will be graded after an agreed level of service and maintenance was adopted at a Council meeting in Tingha on Wednesday.
Council’s new agreed level of service for the maintenance of unsealed roads will see the amount of money provided for grading of roads increased by $308,000 in the 2017/2018 budget.
Acting Director of Infrastructure Rob Shaw said that adopting the level of service was a win-win for Council and the community.
“Council staff will be able to plan their work in a predictable way, baring emergencies of course,” he said.
“With an agreed schedule of roads to be maintained, they will be able to manage resources and better control budgets each year.”
Council maintains 1,150 km of unsealed local roads and currently spends approximately $2.2million of its annual budget on the routine maintenance.
Five alternative levels of service were investigated through consultation with the community and costed before being presented to Council.
Service level three, costing $2,504,000, was adopted and costed assuming an average grading frequency of twice per year for B class rural roads and all bus routes, and once per year for C and D class roads.
“I thought there’d be an overwhelming request for the highest level of service during the consultation, but the majority of people said that they would be happy with Level 3 or 4 provided that the work is done well,” Mr Shaw said.
“[That is] that drains and culverts are cleaned out, and that the amount of gravel re sheeting is increased.
“This does not however mean that every section of every road will be graded once or twice per year whether it needs it or not.
“But that roads that require work will be graded according to the agreed level of service, and Council will still attend to emergency work when required.”