Singleton Council is questioning who will pay for the relocation of the water and sewer depot when the Singleton Bypass is constructed.
The $700 million project is fully supported by Council but they are calling for compensation from the government to pay for the relocation of they utility.
Councillors last night rejected an initial offer from Transport for NSW for the sale of Council-owned land including the current site of the Singleton Water Works Depot and part of Rose Point Park, which are part of the proposed bypass route.
The depot and associated equipment which has been there since the 1910’s must be relocated to a temporary location in the short-term while a permanent site is found and constructed.
Singleton Mayor Sue Moore said while Council strongly supported the bypass project, the community should not have to wear the very significant costs associated with relocating the water and sewer depot.
“Council does not have any current plans nor budget allocation for the relocation of this essential asset. The compensation from Transport for NSW must reflect the very significant costs associated with relocating such a critical service not once, but twice,” she said.
“On behalf of the community, I will be requesting to meet with the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, the Hon Paul Toole MP as well as our local members Dave Layzell, the Member for Upper Hunter, and Clayton Barr, the Member for Cessnock as soon as possible to discuss the matter of costs associated with the land acquisition and relocation of the depot.
“It is Council’s position that the considerable expense of relocation and building a new depot – when the current facility has well served the people of Singleton for more than 100 years – should not have to be borne by the community.”
General Manager Jason Linnane said there had been no reason to relocate the water and sewer depot prior to the land acquisition.
“There has been a limited time to consider the relocation, let alone lock in a suitable site, provide required funding and plan the logistics of moving our people and equipment while maintaining a service that is essential to the community,” he said.
“But that is very costly, and it’s money that just isn’t in Council’s budget.
“There is a considerable disparity between what Transport for NSW have offered and the real expense of moving what is a critical service, and I hope Transport for NSW will work with us to deliver a win-win for our community.”