Murray Bridge council watch: January 2022
Prominent citizens Don Watts and Irene Hughes are farewelled, plus the latest on riverfront bins, COVID-19 measures and more.
This story was originally published behind Murray Bridge News’ paywall. Paywalled stories are unlocked four weeks after publication. Can’t wait that long? Subscribe here.
Two notable citizens mourned
Two heart-and-soul community members have been lost to Murray Bridge and Mypolonga, respectively, over the summer.
Theatre maestro Don Watts and historian Irene Hughes were both remembered fondly by Murray Bridge’s mayor last week.
In later life, Mr Watts was perhaps best known as the technical officer who oversaw Murray Bridge Town Hall’s refurbishment in 2010, though he was also involved with the city’s art gallery, men’s shed, community advisory committee and graffiti removal team, as well as Jervois Football Club, and was a life member of Murray Bridge Players and Singers.
He passed away on December 18 and was farewelled with a private service at the town hall on January 6.
“Don was a passionate and dedicated community member,” Mayor Brenton Lewis said.
“You would hardly ever go to an event at the town hall where Don wasn’t either orchestrating where you sat, what you did, the video, the audio – he was just one of those people who always seemed to be there.
“Don will be sadly missed.”
Ms Hughes was a custodian of her town’s history, the initiator of the local history group, and integral to the ongoing operation of the Mypolonga Institute.
She died on January 1 and was farewelled at the Mypo Football Club on the 13th.
“She was a lovely lady,” Mr Lewis said.
“She definitely will be missed by a lot of people.”
Riverfront rubbish bins will be emptied more often
The Murray Bridge council has promised to lift its game after rubbish bins at Sturt Reserve were left overflowing at times during the summer.
Mayor Brenton Lewis suggested staff would aim to empty the bins more often in future.
Councillors Fred Toogood and Wayne Thorley had both passed on critisicm from residents at the council’s meeting last Monday night.
“There was refuse everywhere,” Cr Toogood said.
Special offer will continue for ratepayers affected by COVID-19
Ratepayers whose income has reduced because of COVID-19 will be able to postpone paying their bills throughout 2022, the council has decided.
Since April of 2020, the council has made special arrangements with 41 ratepayers, lessees and licence holders who have suffered economically through the pandemic.
Councillors voted on Monday night to extend the COVID-19 hardship policy until at least December.
Boundary signs may be replaced
The council will look at replacing the daggy old signs which tell visitors when they are entering the Murray Bridge district, on the suggestion of Cr Airlie Keen.
The council replaced the welcome signs outside each of its towns in 2019, in keeping with a theme it introduced with a big, colourful sign on the South Eastern Freeway.
Now it will consider doing the same for the blue-painted metal signs which stand at the council boundary on the roads from Mannum, Palmer, Strathalbyn, Langhorne Creek, Karoonda, Bowhill and Burdett, as well as the Old Princes Highway.
The new signs could cost more than $20,000.
Council staff will bring a more detailed proposal back to councillors.
Quote of the month
“If a storm ever comes and blows that over, they’ll find the rest of us in Alaska somewhere.”
–Brenton Lewis, on the strength of the new picnic shelter at Sturt Reserve