Dubbo Regional Council has taken an $11 million gamble over an intersection in the city's north west.
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The New Dubbo Bridge, also referred to as the River Street Bridge, is currently under construction. While the bridge and surrounding infrastructure are being built, it's prime time for the council to create an intersection for the north-west urban release area.
However, the council needed to commit to the project now, before funding had been guaranteed, to ensure it did not interrupt the work currently being undertaken.
Not all councillors agreed, however it was decided the risk had to be taken.
But it was "essential to ensure" it did not "result in any cost to Transport or alter the timeline of the New Dubbo Bridge project".
The expected cost of the intersection is $11 million.
The council chief executive officer Murray Wood said he was "confident" of grant funding opportunities. A number of grants were already under consideration, he said.
For councillor Josh Black, the risk was too high. Cr Black voted against the council committing to the project before alternate funding had been confirmed.
"I'm really annoyed at the state and federal governments here because they shouldn't be placing this much risk onto ratepayers. This is $11 million that we don't have...We've heard time and time again how we're in a serious budgetary situation here at council," Cr Black said.
Deputy mayor Richard Ivey said the council had to take the gamble.
"The risk of not proceeding at this stage is the potential plan is just too much and I think we do have to bite the bullet and say, 'look, we're doing it almost under sufferance, but we will take our chances'," he said.
If grant funding from the NSW or Australian government was not forthcoming, Mr Wood said the council could consider developer contributions to help reap the costs of the road work.
For example, every block of land sold in the north-west urban release area could include a contribution back to the council.
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