Lerwin staff praised for dealing with COVID-19, building works

Plus other interesting tidbits from the Murray Bridge council's May meeting.

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The Rural City of Murray Bridge’s councillors met via video link, broadcast on the council’s YouTube channel, on May 11.

Interesting topics which came up included…

Lerwin staff praised at challenging time

Lerwin Nursing Home staff have won praise for their hard work during the past month.

Mayor Brenton Lewis commended all staff for working through rapid changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including around Mothers' Day, as well as the ongoing construction of a new wing.

Councillor Fred Toogood echoed the same sentiment.

"It has been a fairly difficult time and I believe they've handled it extremely well," he said.

Town entrance signs will face both ways

When the council replaced the welcome signs in each of its towns recently, some said "farewell from..." on the reverse and some did not, depending what had been there before.

But all signs will now be made double-sided based on feedback from residents of Monarto, Callington, Wellington, Woods Point and Monteith, passed on by Councillor Airlie Keen.

The modifications will cost $30,000.

Investment in buildings may be needed

The council's budget for replacing old buildings may fall almost $800,000 short of what is needed over the next five years, a report has suggested.

Seven of the 44 most important council-owned buildings in the district were rated as being in poor or very poor condition – in need of major repairs or replacement – in a draft asset management plan approved by councillors this month.

However, the plan's author recognised that the amount of money councillors chose to spend would depend on other factors.

The plan covers 288 buildings worth a total of $59.5 million, from the town hall and swimming centre down to storage sheds and picnic shelters.

Over and out to the Overland

The council has all but given up hope that the Adelaide to Melbourne passenger train will ever again get state government funding.

It had formally lobbied for public funding to be used to prop up the Overland, but chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said the government had been "unequivocal, and did not entertain further consideration".

Councillor Mat O'Brien had led the charge against the government's decision, which led Journey Beyond Rail to announce the service's imminent closure before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Vale Bruce Frazer

Mayor Brenton Lewis paused at the end of May's council meeting to pay tribute to Bruce Frazer, pictured, a former councillor who died at the age of 94 on April 23.

While he served three years in office, he was better known for the bus service he established.

"Bruce came to Murray Bridge as a young bloke, a mechanic, founded that company and was a good citizen for a lot of years," Mr Lewis recalled.

He is survived by his wife Ruth, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Image: Rural City of Murray Bridge/Youtube. Photos: Peri Strathearn.