SUNSET Strip residents are one step closer to forking out a combined $7.158 million to seal the roads and improve the drainage.
Cr Stephen Fullarton insisted council prepare a report into the scheme at a meeting in May.
On Wednesday, July 19, councillors voted in favour of considering the scheme in next year’s budget.
“We’ve been fighting long and hard for many years on Phillip Island to get the street schemes through,” Cr Fullarton said.
“In each case there’s been considerable opposition, particularly from non-resident ratepayers, which is the case again here.
“In each case when the scheme is complete, the community are astonished and just wonder why they objected in the first place.”
Cr Julian Brown questioned how council could know what the level of support was from the community and while he did support the motion, was keen to see specific numbers on what residents thought.
Last year, 192 property owners out of 344 responded to a questionnaire on which roads and drainage upgrade they preferred.
Of the 192 who responded, 43.5 per cent objected to the scheme.
Cr Clare Le Serve said the cost of the scheme is going up every year, and it might have cost less than $10,000 had it been done 10 years ago.
More than $163,000 has been spent by the council on planning for a Special Charge Scheme in the area since the 2011-12 financial year.
Cr Bruce Kent hoped Sunset Strip residents could go to Pioneer Bay and see the “success story” of their Special Charge Scheme when it’s time to vote.
“And that they’ll go down there and take a look and see how well ahead Pioneer Bay has jumped in leaps and bounds, but I’m telling you if they don’t go for this, that’s it – gone,” he said.
Although the motion passed, it doesn’t necessarily mean the scheme will go ahead.
If councillors voted against the motion, the council would need 70 per cent of residents to agree to it before it could proceed.
Whereas because of this motion, council only needs slightly more than 50 per cent of residents to say yes to charge them an average of $19,226 per property.
Cr Les Larke didn’t support the motion, but gave in-principle support if the threshold for people supporting it was 70 per cent instead of 50 per cent.
Cr Fullarton ended the discussion and said the major issue was the cost.
“It’s about building a community, the elderly that live there are living in dust and I don’t get why people who are opposing this, seem to be attracted to the dust.”
Council will consider setting aside funds and resources for the Special Charge Scheme in next year’s budget.