Council receives $1.5m on top of merger money

July 19, 2017

Additional infrastructure projects for the Murrumbidgee Council area can now be pursued, thanks to a $1.52 million allocation from the NSW Government.

As part of its Regional Growth Fund package introduced in this year’s state budget, all council areas will receive set funding under the Stronger Country Communities program.

Murrumbidgee’s allocation will see about $600,000 spent specifically in the Jerilderie area, with the remainder to be spent on the former Murrumbidgee Shire area.

It is in addition to $8 million in major infrastructure projects funding allocated after the former Murrumbidgee and Jerilderie shires merged in May last year.

‘‘We’re very happy to receive additional infrastructure funding,’’ Murrumbidgee Council administrator Austin Evans said.

‘‘It casts quite nicely for us, with the council currently completing its project assessments for the Stronger Communities merger money as well.

‘‘We had far more projects submitted for that program than we had funding for, so this is an alternative funding source for us to do a few more of them.’’

Mr Evans said the list of projects being assessed for the merger money was put together in consultation with the community, and would now also be considered for this funding allocation also.

He said projects for each stream of funding would have to be decided concurrently, with applications for the Stronger Country Communities fund due in August.

He said council also hopes to have some recipients of its merger funding announced by the end of this month.

‘‘We had a workshop with our local representative council members last week to determine a bit of a priority list,’’ Mr Evans said.

‘‘That gave us an idea of where council now needs to do some work to further investigate the projects and their costings.

‘‘Our intention is to have some of the projects announced before council goes into election caretaker mode (which is from the close of business on July 31) and the vast majority would be finalised by the new council following the September 9 election.’’

The NSW Government has said its Stronger Country Communities Fund is intended to invest in infrastructure projects in regional NSW communities to improve the lives of residents and enhance the attractiveness of these areas as vibrant places to live and work.

It will support projects that involve building new community facilities such as parks, playgrounds, walking and cycle pathways; refurbishing existing local facilities like community centres and libraries; and enhancing local parks and the supporting facilities.

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