Levee looks doomed

A CONTENTIOUS flood levee designed to protect the Myrtleford CBD is almost certain to be scrapped.

Last night Alpine Shire councillors were set to decide on the future of the proposed 1.6 kilometre levee – assets director Charlie Bird’s recommendation saying cost blowouts made it economically unviable, while community opposition made it unpalatable.

Its construction, including a floodway on the southern side of the Happy Valley Creek, was estimated to be in excess of $9 million.

But council papers said that did not include the cost of land acquisitions, a cultural heritage plan or the remediation of soil tainted by tobacco growing chemicals.

Frank Bonacci, who attended two public meetings and grew up on a farm that would have been impacted by the redirection of floodwaters, said it was the right decision.

“I don’t think that anyone who attended the meetings would have any problem with the decision to scrap the levee,” he said.

“I think the councillors who attended the second meeting would have picked up on that sentiment.

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