STRUGGLING Wagga Road businesses looking for a one-off $600,000 funding injection from Albury Council came under fire from two councillors last night.
Cr Henk van de Ven and Cr David Thurley said the re-direction of money earmarked for Griffith Road to Wagga Road alone wouldn’t be the silver bullet to re-invigorate the struggling business strip.
The funding switch has been requested by the Northside Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Lavington business operators.
The council’s engineering and works committee last night recommended planned works in Griffith Road be temporarily suspended and consultation start with Lavington businesses about shifting available funding to Wagga Road.
Cr van de Ven chairs the engineering and works committee and its recommendation would be considered at the council meeting later this month.
He said businesses should be looking to invest their own money and not relying on council coming to their rescue.
“They are never going to get a result if that is all they are going to rely on,” he said.
“I would really like to see what they are going to put into the precinct to make their businesses look a lot better than what they are currently are.
“A lot of businesses are tired, they need an upgrade, need a revamp and need a coat of paint for a start.”
Cr Thurley said $600,000 would not be a “cure all” for businesses in Wagga Road.
“Most of them have gone under because their businesses weren’t viable and not because of the appeal or aesthetics of Wagga Road,” he said.
“Some work would make the place look a lot better.
“It is a much more fundamental issue than just tarting up the street.
“When we get into this consultation and it comes back to council, there are some fairly serious issues that need to be looked at.”
The council’s representative on the Northside Chamber of Commerce, Cr Graham Docksey, said the motion agreed to by the committee would help allay a lot of the issues raised by Cr Thurley and Cr van de Ven.
“I strongly support this particular motion as it is,” Cr Docksey said.
Cr Thurley said traffic movements in and out of Griffith Road near the Five Ways and the fate of green space around the soon to be vacated Lavington Library building were other issues which needed addressing in the Lavington business district.