Friday, May 27, 2005

The council

What a saga.

Twelve months ago our building committee requested action on our nature strip. It was in very poor condition. Council came back with an offer that they would subsidise renovation of it and our contribution, from our building, would be $600. Ok, we said. Go ahead. Something changed and they came back with an offer that they would do it in consultation with us and there would be no cost to our building and we would be a test case for the rest of St Kilda Rd. The time was targeted to be Spring last year. This would give the area a chance to establish before the hot weather arrived. For various reasons, it did not happen until a couple of weeks ago, Autumn.

The plans had been sent to us and much discussion had happened. Wide asphalt areas for pedestrian crossing, gravel under trees in a squared off area with agapantha plantings and the rest a tough grass. We added in the issue of watering and marking parking bays so the crossings matched the asphalt crossing areas.

Now in May, I can report that it has been done. The tree cut outs have a thin layer of gravel over the dirt with tiny minature aggies some of which have been trampled already. Our building manager constantly repairs the tape that prevents walking on grass until it is established. The council does not do this.

While our building has a good manager to look after the new work, the other buildings do not. The building next door grass is yellow and the next one along is brown and dead looking. I will add that a council contract plumber has now fixed their sprinkler systems and theirs will probably come back to life. But we pressed and pushed before the work was done about the watering systems and it would seem our efforts were ignored.

Also ignored was the business about marking the parking bays so that the walkways match a gap in parked cars. Now there are two walkways with a car and a half space between them and if the spaces are marked, it will mean a loss of parking spaces. But it is unlikely the spaces will be remarked.

The guys who I met who were from City of Port Phillip were very nice and very pleasant and seemed competent and in control.

How hard we all tried, how much effort we put in, how did it go so wrong?

Note to self, revisit this in a couple of years and see what it looks like.

CC to Peter Logan, South Mebourne ward councillor, City of Port Phillip.

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Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.