White Hill water tank mural back on

Little projects like a mural on the SA Water tank at White Hill can be important to a city's image and economy, Murray Bridge Councillor Tyson Matthews says.

The idea of commissioning a public artwork on the tank came back into favour with councillors last week.

It was the third time the council had voted on the idea in two years, as proponent Karen Eckermann and opponent Airlie Keen have swayed the debate back and forth.

Admiration of the painted silos at Coonalpyn, and the attention and visitors they have attracted, helped a swing towards Cr Eckermann's view.

"I have been inundated with community members urging me to put the tank mural project back on our agenda, on the phone, via email, at the supermarket, at church, at every single function, party, council or private get-together I have attended over the past two months," Cr Eckermann said.

"I have not recieved one negative comment about the proposal."

A mural would enhance town pride and give Murray Bridge residents a sense of achievement and identity, she said.

Working out how to attract funding for it, and how to ensure passing motorists would not be distracted, was a job for council staff.

A majority of the seven councillors present at the meeting agreed, but not before Cr Keen raised some serious objections about putting public art in an 80-kilometre-per-hour zone.

"The (Coonalpyn) silos are located on a flat, straight stretch of road in a 60-K zone and already there has nearly been a head-on collision," she said.

"People are getting out of their cars and walking out in front of B-doubles."

Cr Keen also worried about the cost of the project, which she described as a "bottomless pit of ongoing expenditute"; the need for new signs at other entrances to the city; the possibility trees would be cleared to make the tank more visible; and the perception that Murray Bridge needed a mural to revive its fortunes.

Discussion became heated as councillors debated the advice they had got from the council's community advisory commitee, private citizens who recommended against proceeding with the mural.

Cr Eckermann said the committee was asked to give advice, not make decisions; Cr Keen said it was disrespectful not to listen to them.

Cr Keen and Cr Andrew Baltensperger were voted onto the commitee at Cr Eckermann's expense last August after all three put their hands up for two spots.


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