Distribution of the 2019/20 community donation program took place last week; council supported fifty three projects to the total of $93,209. As part of the budgetary process council allocates annual donations to support a variety of groups and organisations from within the Oberon Community and also to some organisations outside of our immediate community who promote and support projects in Oberon. $5,000 is allocated to each village for a specific community project of their choosing. It is incumbent upon council to support as many projects as the budget will allow and we are proud to do so.
As part of the Federal Drought Communities Funding Program projects to install water bores at Black Springs and O’Connell were implemented a grant funded program totalling $161,150. The project included full installation of the bores and associated equipment including metering at two locations in Black Springs and O’Connell. A report by staff on how the bores will function for the benefit of all will be tabled for discussion at a future council meeting. Council agreed at the August Meeting to extend the current drought assistance arrangements to reduce the cost of potable water to rural and rural residential users feeling the effect of the current drought. More information on how to participate in this program can be obtained from council office. Staff and Councillors will be workshopping future drought proofing strategies and initiatives in the near future.
Now the new community brand has been decided upon, council can move forward with the signage strategy. Thank you to everyone who participated in the branding design process. I realise not all will agree with the design but that scenario is unattainable. The final choice was the four panel eucalyptus logo which depicted a eucalyptus branch growing upwards and to the right through the coloured panels symbolising progress and natural growth, the coloured panels depicting the four seasons of Oberon. You will recall, Oberon was fortunate enough to secure $210000 through the Stronger Country Communities Grant Funding stream to implement a Community Branding and Signage Strategy. As such the funds can only be used for that specific purpose. The next step is the redesign and installation of signage beginning with the town entrance signs, which I will be relieved to see updated. Community consultation including with the villages will take place so watch out for more information as it comes to hand.
After a meeting with a concerned resident recently who voiced disquiet about the possibility of lead pipes and joiners in the Oberon Council reticulated water pipe system, I can confirm there are no lead pipes or joiners existing on the Oberon water reticulation system. The Oberon township reticulated water main network has approximately forty kms of pipe. Council has rolling works program to replace (with PVC pipe) the AC pipe component of this network, currently around 14%. Through the budgetary process $160,000 per annum until 2025 has been set aside in the budget to implement this program. Thus far the condition of the AC pipes upon replacement has raised absolutely no concerns for staff. During 2018/2019 Council staff were able to reduce the AC pipe network by 1,324 metres leaving a remainder of 5,346 meters still to replace This financial Year 2019/2020 staff are aiming to replace a further 927 meters approximately. The trunk line is scheduled (dependant on funding) to be upgraded in 2025 this is noted in councils Long Term Financial Plan.