Preschool can't get a foot in the door with council for footpath

KNOCKED BACK: Orange Preschool director Joy Watterson is disappointed a path will not constructed on the property's mud-prone nature strip.
Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI 0519dcpath2

KNOCKED BACK: Orange Preschool director Joy Watterson is disappointed a path will not constructed on the property's mud-prone nature strip. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI 0519dcpath2

MAKING the sole submission to Orange City Council’s budget for the next financial year will still not result in a footpath for Orange Preschool.

Director Joy Watterson said the preschool requested a footpath outside its Moad Street premises because patches of the nature strip were missing grass and it often became muddy, particularly during winter.

“If you’ve got a three to five-year-old, it’s difficult to get them in the gate without getting covered in mud or slipping over,” she said.

“A footpath would provide a safe way for the children to get in.”

However, in a report to be considered by councillors tonight, council staff said the request had been measured objectively against the existing proposed capital works projects for risk, usage and connectivity to the footpath network.

“Based on assessment of the proposal against ranking criteria, provision of a footpath in this location does not warrant inclusion over the current projects identified in the 2014/15 year,” the report said.

Ms Watterson said she was surprised the pre-school was the sole organisation to provide feedback on the budget and disappointed the proposal was not adopted.

“Especially if there were no other submissions,” she said.

“I would have thought we would be a priority because of the children and it’s busy with the hockey fields across the road.”

Councillor Neil Jones felt footpaths had been underfunded and said he would put a question to the council tonight on priorities.

However, Orange mayor John Davis felt a lone submission was a “terrific” result and consistent management during a long period would ensure priorities were eventually funded.

“A lot of people say they haven’t gone on the website [to view the budget], but they think the council is going reasonably well and if we don’t do a good job, they replace us,” he said.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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