THERE were cheers from a packed public gallery as the vote to reopen Denison St to two-way traffic was passed in the affirmative by the narrowest of margins at council last Wednesday.
Five speakers had spoken on the controversial Meeting Place, with four urging council to lift the one-way traffic restrictions, while a lone speaker implored the seven councillors to keep it.
In the end the decisive vote rested with mayor John Rosenbaum, who earlier had spoken of his desire to see the Meeting Place retained as it was.
But after two recommendations to maintain the status quo were defeated, and having spoken of his desire to have the matter resolved once and for all, mayor Rosenbaum altered his vote to side with councillors Jim Henderson, Tony Tersteeg and Frank Hooke and reopen the road.
The cost to ratepayers will be $1920, with council moving all barriers, seats and garden beds 2.8m to the south, as well removing and replacing all road signage.
In his recommendation to council, technical services manager Gil Gendron said, while the cheapest option, it would negatively impact June’s Cafe, create an additional point of conflict for vehicles entering Church St and was “an unnecessary cost to achieve very little”.
The widening of the Meeting Place was funded through a $40,000 infrastructure grant from the State government.
A further $25,000 has been spent upgrading Denison St.