ORANGE City Council has fielded requests for footpath additions or replacements in 22 areas, but those residents will have to wait until next month to find out whether they will be in the program of works.
Among the submissions was a 26-signature petition from Astill Court residents for replacement footpaths along Autumn Street.
Resident George Jack said walking was difficult for elderly people with walkers because footpath faults affected their wheels.
“You’ll go straight over and fall because it just stops,” he said.
We’re supposed to keep healthy and the cheapest form is walking.George Jack
“We’re supposed to keep healthy and the cheapest form is walking, but we can’t do it unless we walk on the road.”
Mr Jack said many residents liked to walk to the Alpine Shopping Centre, but were hampered by substandard or no footpaths.
Other residents’ requests ranged from new footpaths along Hill Street and throughout North Orange to rehabilitation along Sale Street and in Glenroi.
At Tuesday night’s extraordinary meeting to consider the 2017-18 budget, councillors resolved to spend $1,370,000 in the next four years on footpaths, $1 million more than originally intended.
Councillor Glenn Taylor asked if the council could concentrate on rehabilitation and noted paths laid with hotmix asphalt seemed to be the most acceptable.
“We’ve got a lot of yellow lines and hotmix will go a lot further for our dollar,” he said.
Councillor Reg Kidd said he still wanted to see $1.5 million allocated in this year’s budget and did not believe ratepayers would object to borrowing money.
“I took my mother out of the Calare nursing home and brought her to the [Orange] Ex-Services’ Club and I challenge you to do the same thing, it’s a major issue,” he said.
Councillor Kevin Duffy said ratepayers would laugh at the amount and “bring on September” but councillor Chris Gryllis questioned whether council elections were relevant.
“We try to do our best.”
To see a map of requested footpaths, visit our website.