New mower cuts work time

Published on 08 July 2014

Bridgewater recreation reserve has become the latest recipient of a brand-new oval mower, thanks to an innovative policy recently adopted by Council.

Last October, Council decided to set up a program whereby six major recreation reserves around the Shire would receive new mowers over the following three years.
Three other reserve committees had recently bought new mowers and will not be eligible for this funding until well after this time.

The new policy offers grants of up to $35,000 for reserve committees, aimed at cost savings for local communities and easing the burden on volunteer labour.

First cab off the rank was Calivil, where curator Alan Fidler was delighted to receive the keys to a four-wheel-drive Shibaura CM374 out-front mower, valued at $27,273, last February.

Next up was Pyramid Hill in May, when Mayor Cr Gavan Holt formally handed over a Kubota F3690 mower, valued at $34,950.

The Mitiamo reserve committee has also enjoyed the arrival of a new machine – a diesel-powered Hustler Super Z 72” out-front mower, with options, valued at $27,489.
 
Bridgewater’s choice was the same as Mitiamo’s, a gift again formally presented by Cr Holt at a brief ceremony late last month at the recreation reserve.

Council’s Manager Community and Recreation, Allan Stobaus, said every reserve committee needed at least one oval mower to maintain its facilities to an appropriate standard.

“The operation, maintenance and ultimate replacement of this equipment represents a substantial part of committees’ overall operating costs,” Mr Stobaus said.

“Council set up a separate account to meet these costs over the identified replacement period of three years at a cost of $70,000 a year.

“This policy will result in net costs to Council of about $210,000 over the next three years, then around $350,000 every decade thereafter.”

Bridgewater’s volunteer mowing man, Glenn Mangan, said the arrival of the new machine had brought significant time savings.

“Before this, we used a borrowed ride-on mower, but the job took three hours each time, so we put a lot of hours on it.

“We also had access to the golf club’s fairway mower, but that was past its time.

“With this new one, I can do the job in less than an hour.”

Recreation reserve president Bryan Ryan said the new mower had produced an immediate impact, with the top-class presentation of the oval for a recent game of football.

“Our coach, Andrew Collins, was greatly impressed,” Bryan said.

“With Council’s upgrade of the watering system and maintenance by the reserve committee in sowing seed and spraying weeds, we are now able to produce a surface that is both safe and excellent to play on.

“Allan Stobaus has been most helpful with the mower purchase and Tony Bellenger with the irrigation upgrade.”