Tooma Community discuss infrastructure projects and algae management

Published on 01 April 2019

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Snowy Valleys Council held a highly productive meeting with the Tooma community last Thursday evening at the Tooma Inn, with the town’s planned infrastructure projects and Mannus Lake Blue-Green Algae issues the key topics of discussion.

General Manager Matt Hyde and Councillor Julia Ham supported Director of Assets and Infrastructure Matthew Christensen and Division Manager Asset Planning and Design Glen McGrath in outlining plans and fielding questions for the fifteen Tooma residents and landowners.

On the delivery of government funded infrastructure, Mr Christensen said Council is working closely with contractors to complete a new amenities block near Possum Point Road in April.

“Tooma residents can look forward to installation of a new amenities block on the southern side of Possum Point Road in the next few weeks.”

“A septic system wasn’t suitable due to the proximity to the creek, so a prefabricated block will be installed, consisting of one accessible and one unisex self-contained toilet. Once landscaped, this project will utilise all of the $80,000 allocated from The NSW Government’s Major Projects Infrastructure Fund”, he said.

The community representatives were then invited to discuss the allocation of an additional $30,000 from the second round of this funding for the Tooma Amenity Project. It was agreed that Council could support the community in leading the development and delivery of this project to address a relevant community need.

Mr Christensen says Council is pleased with the decision for the Tooma Hall committee to submit a proposal for the community to deliver the project.

“We are more than happy to hand over the reins to the Tooma community and will work closely with them throughout the process to ensure the project is delivered in accordance with the funding guidelines and timeline.”

“Tooma is certainly a very passionate and resourceful community,” Mr Christensen went on to say. “They have expressed a lot of great ideas to improve the appearance of the village and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve with that $30,000.”

On the management of algae in Mannus Lake and Creek, Mr Christensen said Council is doing everything possible to update landowners and lake users of algae alerts swiftly.  

“Council is actively monitoring algae levels in Mannus Lake and Creek and liaising with all relevant government departments to support, advocate and lobby on behalf of the community.”

“We are pushing for a faster turn-around of water sample test results so we can upload information to the Council website sooner and send more timely algae alert emails to affected landowners and residents”, he said.

Council has engaged the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to conduct a 12 month study of the lake and creek to monitor where the blooms are occurring and make recommendations to mitigate future algal blooms.

Snowy Valleys Council General Manager Matthew Hyde said that an interim UTS report due in May will enable Council to proactively progress towards a solution, but there will be no quick fix.

“We will move as fast as we can following the preliminary report, but even after we receive the final UTS report at the end of the year, there is still an official process that we have to follow that takes some time.”

“If aerators are the most effective solution, then we will need to develop an engineering design and cost plan and apply to the Office of Water for grant funding before we can even go through a tender process”, he said. 

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