Recent flooding in the Inverell Shire has racked up a bill worth $8 million.
The eye-watering sum was presented to the Civil and Environmental committee, and plans were discussed about the best way to finance the clean-up.
The biggest logistical challenge. according to Civil Engineering Manager Justin Pay, was making sure grant money already received from both state and federal governments was spent, with council placed in a position of 'use it or loose it'.
As a result, the committee agreed that the MR63 Warialda Road, Black Dam project and the MR73 Bundarra Road Rehabilitation project - adjacent to the racecourse - both be approved as the 2021/2022 REPAIR Program project.
"With the recommendations, it is important to note through both the state and federal government funding programs, it's important to change some of these projects to make sure we've expanded our grant funds," Mr Pay explained.
"In years gone by we've had a lot more leeway, particularly in the Roads to Recovery program, a federal program.
"Unfortunately this year because there is so much government money around, they've made it clear that if we didn't spend the money we would lose it."
While the report tabled said the cost was in excess of $7 million, Mr Pay said that morning, he got the memo that it had breached into the next bracket.
Included in the cost is $5 million worth of resheeting roads, $700,000 for surface grading, $1.3 million for drainage system repairs and $500,000 for repair sealed road surfaces.
The biggest roads impacted: Gunyan Road, Camp Creek Road, Texas Road, Havilah Park Road, Dintonvale Road and Grove Road.
The Inverell area and the surrounding district received significant rainfall during March.
Data from the Inverell Research Station shows March saw 188mm fall, coming off the back of 140mm in February.
Of that March total, 140mm fell between the 22nd and the 24th, which flooded many catchments.
In the Inverell township, the flood peaked at approximately 4.2 meters at the Ross Hill bridge gauge, classified as moderate flooding, in the early hours of March 24.
In Yetman, the flood peaked above 10 meters, which is major flooding.
In total, 45 roads were closed during those days, and council continue to focus on emergency works to make critical community infrastructure safe on the road network.
Inverell has been included in the NSW Government natural disaster declaration for the event, which provides access to funding under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
"It should be noted that the current DRFA will not fund the entire emergency and recovery cost and Council will be responsible for significant expenditure," the report to the committee read.
"At the time of writing this report, Council staff are continuing infrastructure inspections and damage assessments and a finalised estimate of damage repair cost and impact on Council's budget is not yet known."
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