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Tuesday
Jan272015

Infrastructure 

The Infrastructure paper is extremely well presented - clear and unremarkable apart from in one or two areas. Some of the projections that are presented are in 'uninflated' form, and other inflated, without a clear explanation - and the inflation methodology is not explained as far as I can see.

What stands out is the fact that although 2040 was previously the projected life of the Eastern Seaboard Waste-water plants - they are now extended out to 2045 with no indication whatsoever of renewal then or in the immediate future beyond. This bears out what I said earlier regarding the projected life of these plants - the only expansion is at Cook's Beach ($700k) in 2019/20, and the building of an additional reactor ($3.3m) at Whitianga in 2023/24. There is no other capital expenditure planned before or beyond 2045 as far as I can see. We already know that the relatively cheap and cheerful Thames plant has a life well beyond 2040 based on a five year old independent engineering report. 

One interesting proposal listed is the 2016/17 Lees Road Seal Extension at $1.05m - residents previously refused to fund this, but the situation has changed with the proposed parking area on Leach's Walkway at the top of the road. Walkers will now have seal to walk on as they dodge cars heading for the parking area while they contemplate how they intend to cross the Purangi inlet.

This should be incorporated into the cost of the Walkway, but it won't be! It is also interesting that this project is seen as "supporting the development of the aquaculture industry." Is this a drafting error, or an indication of some further cunning fishing proposal involving walkers on the track? 

My only other comment is to question the adequacy of renewals in view of the manner in which they were chopped following the election of this Council in order to provide further support for its famous rate reduction. I am unable to ascertain the extent of renewals that remain behind schedule as the result of this extremely unwise action, and it really demands an expert peer review of the plans revealed in this document for rate-payers to be assured that this is not the case.  

 

 

 

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