Kangaroo Island Council meets Dauncey Street traders | the islander
Kangaroo Island Council met with more than 25 Dauncey Street traders on March 8 to discuss the results and construction details of Phase 1 of the Town Centers project.
Sam Buchecker, from council contractor Axion Projects, provided a detailed explanation of the construction process, including the complexity of excavating sections of Dauncey Street.
Mr Buchecker said they were finding issues that the contractors and council were unaware of until construction began.
Mayor Michael Pengilly said Kingscote was an “old town” and offered surprises.
‘Kingscote is an old town, Kangaroo Island ‘There are things underground which have not been sighted but the council are committed to informing traders as soon as possible,’ he said.
He also acknowledged that consultations with traders could have been better.
“There are always lessons for the board about how we can improve our consultation process – and we will,” Mr Pengilly said.
“Since today’s meeting, people have received the maximum amount of information available at this stage.”
The council has scheduled a follow-up meeting with Dauncey Street traders next Tuesday at 5.30pm.
The council and Axiom Projects have assured traders that pedestrian access to businesses on both sides of Dauncey Street will be available during trading hours throughout the construction phase.
“We understand that businesses on Kangaroo Island have suffered over the past three years as a result of the bushfires and COVID-19,” Mr Pengilly said.
“We encourage everyone to buy local and support our local economy during the construction phase of this exciting development.”
Landowner and estate agent Michael Barrett said the Town Centers project was key to reviving the economy of Kangaroo Island, especially Kingscote.
“Upgrading town centers will add value to properties in and around Kingscote by making it more attractive for tourists to come, stay longer and spend,” Mr Barrett said.
“Other considerations for this project are SeaLink’s cheaper rates for residents starting this month.
“The cheaper rates will encourage more people to live here on the island due to better access to mainland services.”
The council is developing communications for distribution via SeaLink to ensure tourists visiting the island are aware that all businesses are open during construction.
Lewis Middleton and Jess Helyar of Café Scrumptious said they were delighted with the launch of the Town Centers project.
“Making Dauncey Street more appealing will attract more customers,” Mr Middleton said.
Mr Pengilly said the council was committed to providing regular communication to shopkeepers on Dauncey Street.
“It’s a bit of a short-term pain for a long-term gain,” he said.
“We are meeting with traders again next Tuesday evening, but in the meantime we are asking traders to contact Louise Custance from the council with any issues, and she will work with Axiom Projects to resolve them.
“Today we heard from traders with design suggestions to improve safety, reduce dust and manage stormwater flow.
“All of these issues have been or will be resolved during the construction phase.
“The council will work closely with all stakeholders before the town center project is rolled out to other townships.”
Phase 1 of the urban centers project was funded by the South African government’s Open Spaces and Places for People grant and the Commonwealth Drought Communities Program.
The Council has applied for funding for Phase 2 of the Town Centers Project through the Building Commonwealth’s Better Regions Fund – Round 6.