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Murray Bridge council watch: October 2023
Here’s what Murray Bridge councillors have been saying about a railway bridge’s upcoming centenary, the Edwards Square toilets and who will serve as deputy mayor.
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Railway bridge’s centenary is coming up
Murray Bridge’s railway bridge deserves some love ahead of its centenary in 2025 – or that’s what the city’s councillors think, anyway.
At the local council’s October meeting, Councillor Clem Schubert suggested it was time to start planning some sort of celebration for the city’s next big bridge-related occasion.
A coat of paint and some lights wouldn’t go astray, either, Cr Andrew Baltensperger added.
“Now that we’ve got the road bridge looking really schmick, the railway bridge is looking pretty sad,” he said.
Councillors resolved to write to the state Department for Infrastructure and Transport to get the ball rolling.
The council had previously explored the idea of installing lights on the railway bridge in 2018-19, but was rebuffed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Edwards Square toilets will be fixed up soon
Meanwhile, the daggy old toilets on Edwards Square, Murray Bridge will finally get an upgrade about a year from now.
Councillor Tom Haig began lobbying for a fix-up in January, arguing that the toilets around the back of the sound shell and the Square Community Centre were inaccessible to some residents.
At this month’s meeting, councillors endorsed a plan to spend $90,000 to bring them up to standard in 2024-25.
Other actions – including provision of an accessible car parking space on West Terrace, and the possible creation of a drop-off zone on South Terrace – will be undertaken by June 30.
Andrew Baltensperger re-elected deputy mayor
Cr Andrew Baltensperger will serve another year as Murray Bridge’s Deputy Mayor after being chosen unanimously at the council’s most recent meeting.
Cr Airlie Keen was also nominated but declined to accept.
Cr Baltensperger has served in the deputy’s role since the beginning of the current council term in November 2022.
Don’t bother paying an MC, Cr Tom Haig suggests
Did the Murray Bridge council really need to pay Paralympian Katrina Webb to host the city’s recent sports awards?
Wasn’t there someone local who could have done it for free, Cr Tom Haig asked at the council’s recent meeting?
“I’m really hot on paying consultants or outsiders when we have staff within our organisation,” he said.
“I’m sure we’d have plenty of well known sportsmen or women in the community who’d do such a function gratis.”
Corporate services general manager Tim Vonderwall argued that having a high-profile host lent the awards some credibility, and that Ms Webb – who grew up in Murray Bridge – had also participated in advertising for the awards.
Still, Cr Haig described the practice as an outrageous and unnecessary use of ratepayers’ funds.