ORANGE City Council will take advantage of warmer weather and kick off its road reconstruction and maintenance season with the usual $2 million worth of work starting next week.
But drivers will have to wait until the end of the month before they find out how much more money the council can spare to revamp other roads.
More than 30 streets will be part of a resealing program, while road rehabilitation, line marking, signage, kerb and guttering and hot mix will also be completed over the next six months.
Councillors will find out in a report for the October 18 meeting how much more money could be allocated to increase the roadworks budget for this summer and the longer term.
Mayor John Davis said the council was under pressure to complete more roads maintenance and upgrades.
He said the new council would discuss where money within the current budget could be shifted to roads and if the amount spent on hot mix asphalt could be increased.
“I believe with some creative thinking and cooperation between councillors, council staff and the general manager we can come up with an expanded program,” he said.
“[But] if we do spend more money there will be a shortfall somewhere else.
“They may be able to trim up some sections but they’ll have to be identified.”
Cr Davis said money could be brought forward within the roads budget and repaid later, as another option instead of taking money from invested reserves.
But even if the budget was increased Cr Davis said the council would still be limited on how much they could do each year because of the short window when the weather was appropriate for road work.
“In winter it’s pretty difficult because it’s wet and it’s cold, it’s even difficult to maintain,” he said.
While an exact schedule is still being planned, technical services director Chris Devitt said work was likely to start in March and Sampson Street, with a block of Sampson Street between Kite and Summer streets expected to be resurfaced with hot mix asphalt.
He could not say how much of the total work would be the smoother hot mix surface, but said much of the work would be focused on intersections where the pavement was breaking up.
As more funds become available the hot mix program could be expanded.
While some drivers may be disappointed their streets are not part of the scheduled works, Mr Devitt said the council chooses work that optimises the use of funds.
“We do a condition rating of the roads and look at those issues,” he said.
“Ultimately it’s the most cost effective repair work we can do.”