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Murray Bridge council watch: April 2023
The latest on plans for a pet memorial, free EV charging, a public transport push and more.
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Pet memorial could help residents grieve
Should Murray Bridge’s cemetery, or its dog park, include a memorial wall for pets who have passed on?
The idea was floated by Cr Karen Eckermann at the Murray Bridge council’s April meeting.
“The memorial may … assist with the general wellbeing of our community members in times of increasing loneliness and isolation,” she said.
Cr Andrew Baltensperger agreed that the idea had merit.
“By having a place to go to remember them, you can keep the memories of your pet alive,” he said.
Council staff will report back with some options, including whether something like that could form part of a planned upgrade of the Bremer Road cemetery in 2023-24.
Charging electric vehicle owners would cost more than it’s worth, CEO advises
Just $670 – that’s how much it costs the Murray Bridge council per year to host a free electric vehicle charging station outside its Seventh Street office.
Modifying the charging stations to make motorists pay for the power they used would cost “a lot more” than that, CEO Michael Sedgman advised at the council’s April meeting.
The arrangement might not be fair, but if saving ratepayer dollars was the goal, it would be best to leave things as they were.
Still, Cr Tom Haig argued that the $670 would be better spent on other causes.
Cr Clem Schubert went one step further, describing EV drivers as “evil bludgers” and arguing that the council should install a free diesel or petrol pump on Reedy Creek Road, near his house, for “equal opportunity”.
Cr Haig suggested he would continue pursuing the matter at a future meeting.
“It’s something that won’t go away and I won’t be letting it go away,” he said.
Murray Bridge residents deserve better public transport, councillors agree
An on-demand bus service and ride-sharing services such as Uber both have potential as solutions to a lack of public transport in the Murray Bridge district, councillors have agreed.
As Murray Bridge News reported last month, Cr Airlie Keen has personally spearheaded a push to get the state government to pay attention to locals’ transport needs.
The city’s other councillors unanimously agreed that the local community deserved to be consulted just as much as Adelaide Hills residents.
After all, Cr Tom Haig said, plenty of locals were unable to afford taxis or Link SA bus tickets.
“We continue to be the poor country cousins … (even though) we’re basically almost an outer suburb,” he said.
However, councillors noted that local taxi businesses would be impacted if ride-sharing services were allowed into the Murraylands.
Murray Bridge residents have campaigned for an Adelaide Metro-ticketed bus service for many years, but the state government locked itself into a service map which did not include the Murraylands when it signed a long-term contract with Keolis Downer in 2020.
Where’s a dog to get a drink?
Should there be more places for Murray Bridge’s dogs to have a drink along the Adelaide Road linear park?
Cr Andrew Baltensperger reckons so, and council staff will report back with some options at his request.
A spot near the public toilets would be easiest, staff advised.
Council will support Mypolonga residents’ push for lower speed limit
The council has agreed to support residents who want a lower speed limit on an increasingly busy road at Mypolonga.
Thirty-four residents petitioned the council last August, calling for something to be done to make Balanada Drive safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Council staff monitored traffic on the road for a period late last year and found that about 80 per cent of vehicles stuck to the speed limit in the 80 zone closest to the township.
Most vehicles kept below 90 kilometres per hour in the 100 zone further out.
Still, councillors decided it was worth asking the state Department for Infrastructure and Transport to lower the speed limits along a 3.2km stretch of the road.
“If your driveway enters out onto a 100km zone, that’s pretty impactful if anyone fails to give way or (misses) something,” Cr Airlie Keen said.
Kiss-and-drop zone dropped for good
A kiss-and-drop zone near Murray Bridge’s Catholic school will be permanently removed to keep students safer.
St Joseph’s School requested last year that the zone on Florence Street be temporarily suspended.
Councillors voted on April 11 to make the change permanent, replacing the drop-off zone with a one-hour parking zone, and to remove time limits on several parks at the Mannum Road end of Florence Street.
Quote of the month
“I do have a fairly distinctive accent.”
–Scottish-Australian Cr Tom Haig, explaining why another councillor might have repeated some of the points he had already made during the meeting