Paterson business owners are calling for Dungog Shire Council to stage a public meeting as a matter of urgency to reveal their plans to fix the town’s deteriorating roads.
Business people and residents have spent more than a decade lobbying for the roads to be fixed, to no avail.
And now they want answers.
“This has been going on for at least 10 years and it’s definitely [not] funny,” long-time Paterson resident and businessman Wally Fletcher said.
“No one seems to know what’s going on with the roads, so how council intends to go about this is a mystery. We don’t even know if they are going to do anything.
“We want the engineers down here and the manager to call a town meeting as soon as possible and let us know what the hell is going on.”
Dungog Shire Council executive manager infrastructure and assets Steve Hitchens said tenders for the reconstruction of King and Duke streets were called last month.
“Council is currently finalising negotiations with regards to this tender with works expected to commence later this month,” Mr Hitchens said.
“Council staff will be arranging a meeting with the business owners in the affected area of Paterson prior to the reconstruction commencing.”
But the work could be a case of too little too late.
“The roads were supposed to be fixed about five years ago but council obviously used the funds somewhere else so we’ve been put on the backburner,” Paterson IGA manager Wayne Charnock said.
“We are now talking weeks, even months, for the roads to be repaired and this will be detrimental to our businesses.”
Mark Burgmann from Paterson Service Station agreed.
“People can probably afford to lose a day, maybe two days trading but when you are talking weeks it’s a lot of money and the bills still have to be paid,” he said.
“We want to know what’s going on.”
Peter Unicomb from Paterson Valley Butchery said the roads are a deterrent to visitors.
“If people could bypass Paterson they would because the roads are that bad,” Mr Unicomb said.