THE Level Crossing Removal Project will hand over $3.5 million to council if it agrees to take over the maintenance of multiple assets created through recent rail line works.
Frankston Council officers have been directed by councillors to finalise negotiations with the LXRP over what assets will be handed over. They are expected to include shared use paths, drainage infrastructure, car parking, and public lighting.
If a memorandum of understanding is signed and council takes on maintenance of the assets, the LXRP will contribute $3.5 million towards council projects.
Among the projects council has nominated to be funded with the money include construction of a shared use path between Cricklewood Avenue and Beach Street along Dandenong Road East, delivery of the Kananook Creek Interpretative Trail, construction of shared use paths on Seaford Road and Skye Road, and construction of car parking and kerb works along Bardia Street.
Frankston councillor Kris Bolam said that the funding would also “all but guarantee that the Kananook arboretum will proceed”.
“We have worked really hard to get this outcome and now we have successfully gotten this funding win. The money council has initially earmarked for this project, $536,000, can be redirected to helping the community deal with the ongoing impact of the COVID crisis,” he said. “The task now is to ensure that the funding can cover everything that has been envisaged for the arboretum and proceeds on time and on budget”.
In February Frankston Council voted unanimously to spend $30,000 on a detailed concept design for the arboretum project. They also voted to “note the estimated total project cost is $672,500” and “authorise council officers to seek external funding for the entire project through the state government”.
Work in Seaford undertaken by the LXRP earlier this year drew negative attention from long-time supporters for the arboretum project (“Fears for long held arboretum hopes”, The Times, 25/5/20)
Council officers estimate that the annual cost to ratepayers for maintenance and depreciation of the LXRP assets is $345,700, including a seven per cent contingency.