YEARS of painstaking effort, expense and weather setbacks have proven too much to get a usable BMX track in Orange, with councillors finally deciding to pull the pin.
Orange City Council decided on Tuesday night to immediately close the track and asked for a report on possible other future uses for the land at Anzac Park.
However, councillors made it clear on the night they wanted the track flattened and the report will look into what will be required.
Council staff had outlined it was possible to open the track as a recreational facility, costing between $16,000 and $21,000 a year in maintenance to remove ruts and weeds.
Under those circumstances, competitions would have only been possible with the help of a vibrant Orange BMX Club and government grants to add the extra features required.
But maintenance was not in the budget currently on public exhibition and councillors decided the expense was too much.
It's pretty much a mud bowl when it rains and a dust bowl when it's dry.Councillor Scott Munro
Mayor Reg Kidd said sometimes the council needed to cut its losses.
"I don't think you can keep throwing this sort of money - $16,000 just in maintenance to maintain something that nobody is using when at the same time you have a number of sporting facilities around Orange screaming out for a new shelter shed or perhaps a toilet," he said.
Councillor Scott Munro was wary of any litigation the council might face if there was an accident on the track.
"If it's proved it wasn't maintained to its full potential, the question is are we liable? Yes we are," he said.
"It's pretty much a mud bowl when it rains and a dust bowl when it's dry."
What they said over the years
Councillor Joanne McRae said maintaining the facility wuld enable its popularity to
"I think it's an approach that potentially maintains the facility to give it chance to get up and going," she said.
Councillor Stephen Nugent suggested people might not be using the facility because they believed they needed to be BMX Club members.
However, they lost the motion nine to two.
Community services director Scott Maunder estimated about $200,000 had been spent on the facility between state government funding and council expenditure.
Former Orange BMX Club member Natalie Pavy, who was instrumental in working on the facility, no longer lives in Orange but said it would be a shame to see it flattened.
"Not only did we put a lot of time into it, but we put our personal money into as well," she said.
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