A section of Parker Street was closed for a couple of hours recently to let an excavator place ornamental rocks in the four corner gardens around the Ex-Services roundabout.
The work was part of an exciting new program by Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council to improve the appearance of the CBD by refurbishing street furniture and gardens.
The program started with the Stratton Bridge, which was repainted from its former yellow, brown and green colours to new dark grey with black and white trim.
The CBD refurbishment plan is the initiative of Wayne Bennett, who took up his appointment as the council's new new manager of waste, parks and recreation in April.
Accustomed to being ribbed about finding time off from his rugby league coaching to help the council, Mr Bennett has moved quickly to introduce his plans for town improvement.
He prepared a report adopted by council's April meeting recommending a new colour scheme for CBD street and park furniture, showing the natural timber using oils rather than paint and with metal structures in "gun metal hammer tone" with dark silver and black trimming.
Interviewed by the Herald last week, he said Cootamundra was in a reasonably good position with roads, footpaths and storm water not needing major work, but its streetscape infrastructure and gardens needed upgrading.
"We'll do the whole town, but you've got to start somewhere so we decided to start with the bridge and move north from that point," he said.
Once the post office precinct is complete, the team will continue refurbishing the main street up to the last roundabout, and is also working in the parks, pruning trees, removing and replacing dead trees and putting in heritage-type bollards to replace logs.
While this work is under way, council will develop a master plan to introduce new street infrastructure such as pergolas, a water feature and sculptures.
"We want to create a place that's vibrant and a lovely place to be, warm during winter shade and cool during summer and improving the liveability so people have a enjoyable place to sit outside and have coffee," Mr Bennett said.
"Hopefully this will stimulate business houses to improve their facades too."
Outside the CBD and parks, recent work has included removing wattles from the northern (Wallendbeen) entrance to the town, most of which were "dead, worn out or very sick". Dozens of new poplars have been planted on the other side, and a new street tree management policy is being developed in partnership with Essential Energy.
Mr Bennett has previously worked with councils in Brisbane, Tumbarumba, and Cowra and as a private consultant, and believes CGRC managers and staff are working really well together, and that a lot of positive change has been happening.