A $365,000 ‘mistake’ by a Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) staff member in 2005, overlooked until 2008, and investigated in an independent audit in 2013, is expected to be passed on to any new developer that takes on the remaining development of Eden Cove, according to Mayor Bill Taylor.
Eden’s flagship subdivision Eden Cove, has seen developers come and go and is currently in the hands of receivers McGrathNicol who say they will shortly place the remainder of the development on the market.
Now it appears that any sale will include a hefty bill for highway intersection works, which should have been completed eight years ago.
“The mistaken release of the bond led to the release of the subdivision plan which then allowed the subdivision to proceed in 2005,” Mayor Taylor said.
“It was a mistake – there’s no getting around that. We can’t recover the money - it was released in 2005,” he said.
The Eden Cove masterplan (DA1999.1322 Eden Cove Development) was approved back in 2005 with a condition of consent and bonding deeds held for outstanding subdivision work as follows; Intersection with Princes Highway and Government Road ($250,000), upgrade of Government Road ($65,000) and stage 4B drainage works ($50,000).
“The current situation is that the staff are preparing a report, summarising the whole thing for the new Council, where (the development) is up to, what works are outstanding, and that report is coming to the next meeting on November 6.
“The intersection is the outstanding issue on the current stages that have been released.
“Any application for any further stages in the development will require an infrastructure plan from the (new) developer. That’s not only water, sewerage and road signage but it will also include the proposal to bring the intersection (Princes Hwy) up to standard,” Mayor Taylor said.
Deputy Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick says that work could be worth anywhere up to $1million in today’s terms.
“It will take a lot more in 2013 to construct that intersection than it would have in 2005. It could be up to $1million,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
While the decision about who pays how much for the intersection remains up in the air, the lack of Council records apparently held on the bond release, how it remained undiscovered for so long, and why it has taken a ten month campaign from Eden Cove residents aided by Russell Fitzpatrick to get this far, are still being questioned.
It remains to be seen if those questions are addressed to the satisfaction of Eden Cove residents and BVSC Councillors in the report being prepared for the November 6 meeting.