Flooded car park dampens appetites for classes

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Massive puddles: The car park and Wilkinson Street, Tootgarook “on a good day when it’s not as bad as after heavy rains”. Picture Supplied

TOOTGAROOK Primary School parents and pupils are considering donning flippers and facemasks to negotiate “massive puddles” outside the school at drop-off and pick-up times.

Parent Rebecca Coghlan said pupils and parents “not only get wet feet but some have fallen and hurt themselves getting in or out of the car”.

“Some parents park on the opposite side where parking is not permitted and have received fines,” she said. “When they ring [Mornington Peninsula] shire to explain why they parked there, and try to get the fine waived, they are told no.”

Staff members at the school say they have complained to the shire about the potholes “on several occasions”.

“Some engineers did come out last year yet nothing has been done about it,” Ms Coghlan said.

“The council put in a new footpath last year alongside the school [but it] only made the flooding worse. When we have lots of rain one whole part of the road floods and it also floods one of the school entry gates.

“All the parents are fed up with ringing the shire to complain as nothing gets done about it – like for a few years now. It’s not good enough.”

The shire’s infrastructure planning team leader Chris Munro confirmed he was aware of water “ponding” around the school.

“The issues are largely related to the flat nature of the area and no formal drainage infrastructure, compounded by significant school traffic volumes,” he said.

“The shire has undertaken detailed planning and design work and will continue to review funding opportunities for the project to support a long-term solution.

“In the interim, the shire is continuing to monitor the situation, and will undertake reactive maintenance and pothole patching to assist in alleviating the water issues. Unfortunately, during heavy rain periods it is difficult to undertake these rectification works.”

Ms Coghlan said the shire had called on Thursday 5 July to say it would drop off a load of gravel to fill the potholes this week.

“That’s only a temporary fix,” she said. “They know it’s a major problem but, because it’s only Toot and not Mornington or Sorrento, it gets swept under the carpet.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 10 July 2018

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