Kapunda’s current revamp involving a new town square and updated Main Street precinct will benefit from a new grant offering which will further put the rural community on the map.
The council recently accepted $159,244 under the federal government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
The funds follow closely behind the state government’s Places and People program handout of $510,000 to develop the town square on the corner of Main and Crase streets.
The former supermarket and butcher shop buildings on the Main Street site have now been demolished, allowing the community to perceive what will be an iconic and vibrant space within the Kapunda town centre.
These latest funds will be used to further enhance the main street precinct with an expansion of public Wi-Fi network, waste bin level sensors and smart lighting proposed for site.
According to Light Regional Council general manager for economic development Kieren Chappell, the grant could fund an electric vehicle charging station and maximise on-site solar PV energy generation and storage to power local infrastructure.
The detailed design of the site is scheduled for completion in January 2018, following a review and input by the Community Focus Group formed to steer the project.
“The design to date is ambitious and council is likely to seek community support in order to deliver within the approved project budget,” he said.
Community support may take many forms, for example, a local geotechnical firm has already pledged in-kind testing of the site for structural design input.
Some early design features include a stage (shelter) and awning structure in the plaza space to commemorate the railway and thriving steel manufacturing heritage of the town.
Nature play equipment is likely to utilise locally sourced timber materials for climbing structures. Alternatively, large rocks may also give children an opportunity to enjoy the square.
“Achieving the aspirational design may take a little longer to complete, when compared to a single construction contract approach,” he shared.
“However, this community-oriented methodology is considered warranted given the vibrant, lasting impact the site will have for future generations.”
Meanwhile, the internal roadway remains open to provide access into the Post Office and Telstra Exchange, however security fencing is in place until the demolished surface is safe for public access.
Mr Chappell further explained how the informal car parking on the eastern half of the site continues, with the community encouraged to use the formal car park opposite in Crase Street, located behind the North Kapunda Hotel.
This formal car park will be sealed with line-marking as part of the project, catering for larger vehicles like SUV’s and 4WD’s.
The heritage stone wall on the eastern boundary of the site has also undergone recent repairs and uplift.
“It will be an excellent feature of the town square and complemented by the adjacent natural play and lawned areas,” Mr Chappell added.
This project – with just six SA councils named under round one of the SCSP – is expected to be completed before the grant funding deadline of December 31, 2018.
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