Council mows down school's objections after services slashed
FRENCHVILLE State School is one of just six in the region to have benefited from council mowing the walking paths around the school.
The school community expressed outcry after the the school posted news to Facebook the Rockhampton Regional Council was "no longer prepared" to mow four surrounding areas; Geordie St, Old Rollo Dr, Guthrie St and Frenchville Rd, which includes the drop off zone.
"To say we are disappointed in Council's decision and how this decision was conveyed is an understatement," the post stated in part.
"However, we cannot in all conscience leave these areas untended and if this means having to use school funds to keep these areas mowed and trimmed to protect our students and parents we will do so, even though we feel let down by our local authority."
But council's Parks and Recreation chair councillor Cherie Rutherford said the decision would bring Frenchville State School into line with the 50 educational facilities across the region which maintained their strips.
While Cr Rutherford conceded council was legally responsible for road reserves, which includes footpaths, she said budget restrictions meant they could not maintain all the footpaths around the region.
"We really appreciate those residents, businesses and schools who take pride in Rockhampton and help us by maintaining their own footpath," Cr Rutherford said.
"There are over 50 educational facilities across our region and with only six schools that were provided with additional mowing it seemed only fair that council request these six schools undertake the mowing of their footpaths.
"In an effort to ensure fairness we have requested Frenchville School to maintain the mowed grass footpaths surrounding their property as other schools have been doing for many years."
The Morning Bulletin contacted Frenchville State School principal Leisa Neaton for comment.
She referred back to the Facebook post, which also called on local contractors to submit tenders to maintain the areas outside school hours at a minimum of every two months.
"Frenchville State School has been advised that Rockhampton Regional Council is no longer prepared to mow the walking paths around our school," the post stated.
"Whilst we are surprised by this decision of the Parks Department of council, we now need to act to keep these areas safe so that we can continue to encourage families to walk into the school zone.
"We do not want to see an increase in car traffic in the zone as a result of council's decision.
"We have advised Council that this means the school will need to fund a contractor as our groundsmen are not permitted to perform maintenance outside of school areas and in any case they do not have the time to do this," the post said.
"We are calling for tenders for the maintenance of the exterior walking paths and drop off zones along the school's perimeter specifically on Geordie Street, Frenchville Rd (including the drop off zone), Old Rollo Dr and Guthrie Street.
"Tasks would include keeping the grass short through mowing and weed eating and trimming back trees from walkways, removing all associated leaf litter, branches and grass clippings."
The school asked tenders be submitted to Michele Bailey on firstname.lastname@example.org