Because of its strong financial position, The Hills Council was last year able to set aside more than $8million in the Hills Shire Plan 2013-17 for 47 kilometres of footpaths. For those who missed out, there is another way to get your path. ISABELL PETRINIC Petrinic reports.
Brian Nicolle was so keen for a footpath on Annangrove Road he told the Annangrove Progress Association he'd build one.
And before he could lower his hand, The Hills north ward councillor Robyn Preston had seconded his idea.
Mr Nicolle said: "It would be really good for those people walking to the [Annangrove Road] shops."
Cr Preston said: "I explained that whilst Annangrove Road had not been high enough on the priority list to obtain funding for council to lay the path, there was an opportunity for volunteers to get this project off the ground."
She encouraged residents to get behind Mr Nicolle and help him lay his path, from Bannerman Road to Blue Gum Road, Annangrove.
She said volunteers need only provide the labour and the council would look after the rest.
Cr Preston said volunteers from Kenthurst Rotary had already laid footpaths on some parts of Annangrove Road and, about 10 years ago, volunteers Steve Nesbit and Sheila Millgate laid four kilometres of cycleway on Kenthurst Road, Kenthurst.
"This path now stretches along Kenthurst Road, Dural, from Pellitt Lane, Dural, to Pitt Town Road, Kenthurst," she said with reference to the 2.5 metre-wide cycleway.
Regular footpaths are 1.5-metres wide.
"It took around nine months to complete and was a really successful community/council project," Cr Preston said.
She hoped Mr Nicolle's story might motivate others to form a group to build a path and had observed more people got out and walked in areas where there were footpaths.
■ To help Mr Nicolle call 0414 313 773.
HOW IT WORKS
Once a team of volunteers has been arranged to construct the pathway:
■ Council arranges for the excavation (usually a week before) and supply of materials (e.g. timber formwork, pegs, reinforcing steel, bar chairs, mastic jointing, concrete);
■ The materials, apart from concrete, are delivered to one of the co-ordinating volunteers’ homes to transport to the work site;
■ Volunteers complete a council registration form;
■ In accordance with occupational health and safety requirements, during the work (usually undertaken on a Saturday morning) volunteers erect Roadwork Ahead signs supplied by the council;
■ A council project officer supervises all work to ensure OH&S requirements and council expectations are met.