LETTER:  Footpaths - Mayor responds to criticisms

EDITOR: I would like to respond to the letter by Ruth Blattman in last week's paper (Express, August 14, "A sad tale of footpath neglect.") I have known Mrs Blattman personally for a number of years and was distressed to hear of the recent personal injury sustained by her daughter in Cooma's main street and I sincerely wish her a speedy recovery.

The issues raised by Mrs Blattman about the state of the main street footpaths are of a major concern to myself and all councillors as we all are striving to create and maintain a town that all residents are proud of and feel safe to live in.

When I was first elected four years ago I remember that one of the main issues was the 'look' of the CBD and residents such as Mrs Blattman are right to question what has been going on, so I feel I must clarify a few points raised by Mrs Blattman about the amount of money spent by council each year on footpaths.

Firstly council has allocated $1.2 million to the CBD precinct over the next three years with the first completed stages being the new toilets / lighting in Centennial Park and also the roundabout at Macks corner.

The next stage will include beautification of the main street which will include aspects of the new town branding and more importantly new footpaths in our main street.

Secondly Mrs Blattman's statement that council is only spending $10,000 a year on footpaths is not quite correct.

Council has spent approximately $90,000 over the last two years on footpaths and have allocated another $37,000 in the 2012/13 budget plus another $30,000 for improvements to extending a walking track on Mittagang road.

I think the unfortunate thing about these figures is that this money is spent on ALL footpaths not just the CBD so it is difficult for residents to see some of the great work that council staff do around town because of the kilometres of footpaths that have to be maintained each year.

I personally love our main street. Our park and Avenue of Flags are unique and are a great attraction for Cooma, but I know many residents are sick of seeing the 'yellow paint' on our main street footpaths.

So I would like to assure everyone that there are plans in place to address these issues in the near future and my hope is that very soon Cooma will have a main street that we all are proud of.

Dean Lynch


Cooma-Monaro Shire Council

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