Following recent complaints about the quality of resurfacing work in Alice Street, Merimbula, relations between the businesses operating in the street and the resealing contractor, Downer, took a downward spiral.
Business owners were unhappy about a lack of notification when the road was closed for the resurfacing work and had also complained about the quality of the work.
However when hot weather arrived suddenly tar was seen to start melting and soon started appearing on the floors of angry business owners as their unsuspecting customers brought it in on their shoes.
Further complaints and phone calls produced an interesting response on Thursday, October 10 when a representative from Downer Group, the road resealing contractors at the centre of the dispute, got down on his hands and knees and cleaned floors in Alice Street premises.
According to Alice Street business operators, the contractor, who visited a number of the Alice Street proprietors, said they had carried out the resealing in accordance with the council’s specifications.
Roland Sowonja from Merimbula Shoe Repairs said the loose gravel and tar deposits are not only leaving marks, but are making the tiled entrance to his store slippery and creating a hazard for customers. Rainer Strassberger, manager of Bega Valley Respite Care in Alice Street said his “new carpet, looks like old carpet” referring to the tar stains that have appeared since the resealing. The contractor “scrubbed the entire floor”, said a staff member at Sports Power.
In ongoing exchanges between the Bega Valley Shire Council’s group manager infrastructure, Wayne Sartori and Michelle Pearson, an Alice Street business operator, Ms Pearson has drawn attention the quality of the resealing work carried out by the contractors.
Ms Pearson said she is concerned that “the works carried out by the same contractor appear to be considerably sub-standard to that undertaken in Bega,” adding that she wonders “whether anyone from council has been out to inspect the works.”
In his most recent letter to Ms Pearson, Mr Sartori said “Council engages a suitably qualified and experienced contractor to undertake this work” adding that Ms Pearson’s comments have been forwarded to the contractor for a response. Mr Sartori said that the comparison to the Bega works was “misdirected” as that work involved disruption to water supply, road reconstruction and took a lot longer.
A spokeswoman for Downer said: “Downer is committed to working with the shire council and the community to resolving any issues.”