MidCoast Council has dropped its controversial footpath levy.
However, the levy still applies to footpaths which have been recently completed in the Great Lakes area.
Council’s decision to dispose of the levy followed many and varied complaints by ratepayers who claim they don’t use the footpath in front of their residence.
The new policy was adopted at council’s ordinary monthly meeting held in Forster earlier this week (November 24).
Great Lakes was the only one of the merged councils with a substantial footpath construction program and it was resolved to discontinue that program and make the policy consistent across the new council.
Under section 217 of the Roads Act 1993 councils are entitled to recover contributions towards footpaths and kerbing and guttering of up to 50 per cent of the actual cost of works.
In a report to council engineering services director Ron Hartley said some residents believed the source of funding of the footpath was not equal, while some residents had difficulty paying the contributions which could amount to $2000..
Charging generates substantial resident backlash towards staff and causes a disproportionate workload for the income generated, Mr Hartley said.
Many staff have difficulty supporting the charging of contributions for philosophical reasons, he said.
It was also resolved that MidCoast Council will continue to levy contributions for kerb and gutter construction based on the former Great Lakes Council Schedule of Fees and Charges.
"The Great Lakes schedule will be adopted across the MidCoast Council area because it includes a cap on the level of contributions payable".