The ‘jury’s verdict is in on how to spend more than $3 million on refurbishing the Lismore CBD and riverside.
The so-called ‘citizens’ jury’ is an innovative concept of Lismore City Council looking at ways to ensure that money allocated for the town is spent according to the priorities of local residents and businesses.
Unlike regular juries, its ‘verdict’ isn’t binding but it will provide Council with recommendations.
The jury is made up of 22 people including randomly selected residents, business people and members of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce.
At its first meeting, last weekend, the jury considered priorities for almost $1 million set aside in a CBD/River Improvement Fund for the 2013–2017 period and $2.45 million earmarked in the budget for footpath improvements.
While the jury agreed inner CBD pavements needed refurbishing, it could think of better things to do with the money allocated to the outer block.
The jury then ranked 12 CBD initiatives in priority order with upgrades of existing toilets and increased CBD cleaning equal first at the top of this list.
This was followed by new public toilets, making Magellan Street two-way again and converting two roundabouts to ‘controlled intersections’.
This again raised the arguments for and against replacing roundabouts with traffic lights across the city but the jury didn’t support that option.
Likewise shade structures over the Clyde Campbell carpark were not rated as high priorities.
‘The jury’s recommendation is to go ahead with revegetation of the riverbank between the Rowing Club and the old Lismore Club and construct a riverbank path from the Rowing Club to join the existing path,’ Council’s executive director of sustainable development Brent McAlister said.
He added that ‘as part of the process the jury also had the opportunity to put forward any other suggestions, not being considered as part of the process, and these were also recorded for Council’s consideration’.
The recommendations of the jury will be placed on public exhibition, along with recommendations from this year’s CBD Parking Workshop, for community feedback in July/August.