The Hills and Hornsby council chatter

THE picturesque North American Cottage at Fagan Park is  undergoing repairs, including having its roof replaced.

‘‘The new shingles will repair damage caused by the weather and prevent the roof from leaking,’’ a Hornsby Council spokesman said.

The cottage will also be repainted this week, weather permitting.

Fagan Park covers about 55hectares on Arcadia Road at Galston.

The land was originally owned by the Fagan family and operated as an orchard and cattle farm.

The Fagans later donated it to the Department of Lands with Hornsby Council appointed as sole trustee for the park.

The North American Cottage is on-site, within the Gardens of Many Nations — a 10-hectare area with 11 themed gardens, including Japanese, Dutch, Chinese and Mediterranean gardens.

The council spokesman said roof and gutter repairs would soon also be done on Fagan Park’s Victorian homestead Netherby House, built in 1900, and its rural museum.

Ten metres of full-time no stopping restrictions could soon come into play on both kerb returns at the intersection of Campbell and Murray streets, Northmead.

The council is yet to consider the recommendation of its local traffic committee, which they made on March 17. 

The committee unanimously agreed to this, as a way of reinforcing the statutory 10-metre no stopping rule under the Australian Road Rules.

Safety fencing will be installed at the Murphys Bridge embankment on Annangrove Road, Annangrove, to ensure pedestrian safety.

This follows a request by Cr Robyn Preston at the council’s December 10, 2013, meeting for a concrete footpath at Murphys Bridge and the need for safety fencing to prevent pedestrians falling down the embankment.

The council will improve footpath access on both approaches to Murphys Bridge on the northern side.

The Hills Council’s local traffic committee has asked Roads and Maritime Services to investigate why a seagull island was removed outside Oakhill College on Old Northern Road, Castle Hill — a road under the care and control of the RMS.

A resident told the committee on February 17 of his concerns about the linemarking north of Oakhill College.

He suggested motorists use the seagull island to pass traffic on the kerbline following the designated linemarking.

Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams pushed to get traffic lights at Kellyville’s Samantha Riley Drive and Hezlett Road intersection sooner than 2015 at The Hills Council’s February 17 local traffic committee meeting.

The committee said funding would be provided from S94 contributions and the lights installed as soon as practicable.

Mr Williams request that the council consider parking restrictions at Tallowood Special School will be referred to a future local traffic committee.

Hornsby Council’s waste education team has been leaving cards on residents’ yellow recycling bins as part of its Recycle Right education campaign.

“Don’t take an orange tag as any kind of admonishment from council,’’ Mayor Steve Russell said.

The team looks at the contents of the bins to ensure they only contain recyclable items.

If the bin doesn’t, it gets a yellow tag.

Otherwise an orange tag is placed on the bin listing the items that should have gone into the red bin.

“Don’t take an orange tag as any kind of admonishment from council, as we greatly appreciate the effort you are taking and want you to continue the good work — it is just a friendly reminder about what items should be placed in the yellow bin,’’ Mayor Steve Russell said. 

Common mistakes: Plastic bags can’t be recycled even if filled with items that can be recycled, and shoes and clothing can get caught in sorting machinery at recycling facilities.

Details: 9847 4856.

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Remember to look out for environmental photographer Lachlan Turner’s new weekly online column about plants and animals he’s uncovered in The Hills Council’s bushland and reserve areas.

It’s called "Go natural: flora and fauna in the suburbs" and you can find it at in the opinion section.

Mr Turner (pictured above with the fox) takes the plant and wildlife photos used in the DVDs and booklets created by the Community Environment Centre, within the Cattai Creek catchment in Annangrove.

Click here to read more about him.

The Hills Council’s Youth Week activities in April include a three-day NIDA acting boot camp at Rouse Hill Community Centre,  April 14-16, 10am-4pm, for ages 15 to 18.

Cost: $340 for three days.

■ More The Hills Council Youth Week activities:

The Hills is getting very close to having its own version of a Roman colosseum, with the announcement by mayor Michelle Byrne that work will begin in June on Bella Vista Farm Park’s new amphitheatre outdoor stage.

Cr Byrne said this stage would give artists and performing arts groups more venue options in The Hills.

She thanked Baulkham Hills MP David Elliott for securing $123,500 of state government funding for the $500,000 project.

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