Construction and Sealing of Unsealed Roads

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Key Details

  • Policy numberPS-16
  • Adopted by council26 February 2019
  • Version number002
  • Approved ByCouncil

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to guide Council decision making in relation to the construction and sealing of unsealed roads.

Introduction

This policy relates to Councils consideration for the construction and sealing of unsealed roads.

Construction and sealing of unsealed roads present a significant challenge due to the original construction costs and the ongoing maintenance and renewal costs. For this reason, Council generally does not consider constructing and sealing unsealed roads.

This policy however outlines the process for when it may be appropriate to consider the construction and sealing of an unsealed road.

In recent years, additional Federal Government funding has provided for Council to construct and seal unsealed roads within urban areas of townships using the additional funds available.

Without additional Government funding it is not financially feasible for Council to consider the construction and sealing of unsealed roads.

This policy however does provide for benefitting residents to fully or partially fund the works through a special purpose charge scheme with Council taking over the maintenance of the road once constructed.

Scope

This policy applies to the construction of any unsealed local road on the Moyne Shire Road Register.

Definitions

Unsealed road – a road on the Council’s road register that does not have a bituminous or concrete seal.

Training Requirements

Not required for this policy

Quality Records

(List the documentation and records to be completed to ensure compliance with this policy)

Record Retention/Disposal Responsibility Location
Infrastructure Design Manual Manager of Assets and Contracts Magiq
Moyne Shire Council Road Register Manager of Assets and Contracts Magiq

Policy Objectives

Council is responsible for the maintenance and renewal of a significant length of both sealed (1700 km’s) and unsealed (1100 km’s) roads. Whole of life costing demonstrates that the cost of maintaining a sealed road is significantly more than an unsealed road.

Council does however recognise that an unsealed road can create dust issues and a sealed road provides much more amenity. On this basis Council will generally consider the construction and sealing of an unsealed road in the following circumstances:

  • At least 50% of the construction and sealing works are met by the benefitting resident or multiple residents.
  • That the resident contribution be based on length of property frontage, plus a proportionate amount of any remaining length.
  • That any section of road to be sealed must adjoin an existing sealed section.
  • That construction and sealing of unsealed roads only be considered when the estimated maintenance costs for a sealed section of road is less than that of the unsealed road.

Construction and sealing of unsealed roads will generally be considered when the road:

  • Is within township boundaries and the works will eliminate dust in townships;
  • Traffic volumes exceed 150 vehicles per day;
  • Has a minimum average of one house per kilometre of road or;
  • Has a significant industry operating on the road (e.g. quarry).

The design for the construction and sealing of the road must meet Council’s Infrastructure Design Guidelines.

Following the Council approved construction and sealing of an unsealed road, Council will then assume ongoing maintenance and renewal responsibilities.

Funding for the Construction and Sealing of an unsealed road

Where Council considers that the construction and sealing of an unsealed road provides similar benefit levels for property owners along the road or street, and the general community, funding for the construction and sealing of an unsealed road can be provided via a Special Charge Scheme pursuant to the Local Government Act, in accordance with the following proportions:

  • Up to 50% Council
  • At least 50% of property owners along the road or street

Determination of 'Community Benefit' versus 'Local Benefit'

Where Council considers that the construction and sealing of an unsealed road provides significantly greater benefits for the general community compared to the local benefits gained by property owners along the road or street, Council may consider a contribution of up to 50%.

The construction and sealing of an unsealed road shall be considered to have a high community benefit if one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • The road or street is on the main route to a facility used by a cross-section of the community; eg. beach, swimming pool, recreation reserve, tourist venue, shopping centre, multi-use sporting facility, school, kindergarten or aged care facility;
  • The road or street is a recognised transport route
  • The road or street services a significant industry (e.g. quarry).

Procedure

The process to be followed will be as follows:

Resident/residents approach Council in writing with a proposal to construct and seal an unsealed road.

A report will be presented to Council detailing the request, associated costs, analysis of community benefit.

The following Special Purpose Charge Scheme would then be followed:

Special Purpose Charge Process

1.    Council assesses and determines the level of community benefit.

2.    Council confirms the appropriate allocation of remaining costs to each landowner.

3.    A preliminary survey is then sent to affected property owners notifying them of the proposal. The preliminary survey will determine whether there is initial support for the proposal and indicate whether Council should proceed with preparing detailed designs, costings and amounts to be contributed. At this stage, Council provides an estimate of what the works are likely to cost.

4.    The Special Purpose Charge will not proceed unless 50% or more of the property owners who will be required to pay the special rate or charge, support the scheme.

5.    If the majority of property owners approve, Council will then proceed with detailed designs and costings.

6.    Council confirms works and determines the Maximum Total Levy for each benefitting property. This is proportioned by property frontage to the road or street.

7.    A Public Notice of Proposed Declaration is published in local newspapers and a letter of notice is sent to property owners. All Scheme documents, plans, costs and schedules will be made available at relevant offices within the affected community.

8.    Once a public notice is issued, there is a 28 day period within which any person can make a written submission to Council regarding the proposal.

9.    Once the 28 day period ends, a report outlining the Special Purpose Charge goes to Council for consideration and final approval, along with any submissions made.

10. Once approved by Council, a prescribed notice is sent out to all those liable to pay. Property owners will have the option of paying in full or by quarterly instalments (interest is charged). Property owners who receive the notice may lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil Appeals Tribunal (VCAT) within 30 days.

Attachments

Nil