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Open Drains and the Community Board

The Community Board managed to blather though a meeting this morning before going into Public Excluded to discuss something of importance - this injected into the time prior to lunch, so as to discourage the public, and before the grants and events presumably came up - that went until four o'clock o some argument must have eventuated.. 

What they did discuss in the open was a Paper on Urban Open Drains.

This included a schedule of those that are most in need of covering and removing all health and safety concerns.

The first three (Court St (2) and Rolleston St are considered the worst and highest priority. ($200K based on the staff recommended solution).

The total list comes in at $1.702m on the same basis, or $$2.706m if kerbed and channeled.

Staff pointed out that this would be a Local Transportation Project funded through Thames Ward, using  either the already heavily accessed Thames Retained Earnings & Depreciation Reserves, or else through rates, and that it should commence from 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

There was some sentiment abroad to get it into next years budget process, but S. Goudie questioned just where the funding would come from. These guys are so used to just dreaming up projects, and allocating funds, that it all just comes naturally to them. They badly need a reality check.

In the meantime, it appeared that they decided to workshop the priority list, and I did not hear any decision to proceed even with the first three at this stage, so that is a relief. More fluffing around by Strat.

It did remind me of the time right back at the beginning of Leach's term when some $11m of drainage funding disappeared from the LTP, along with the job of senior drainage engineer - Francois Pienaar. But it helped with 'balancing the books' to hold rates and borrowing while all the fancy stuff proceeded.

I gather that covering open drains in Thames (an historical anomaly!) does not come within the definition of 'drainage' expenditure within the LTP. That relates apparently only to large scale works aimed at mitigating storm and flood risk around the Peninsula.

Pity the definition cannot be expanded to cover the current problem, but I guess we will have problems enough with District drainage when capital and renewal works have fallen irretrievably behind as the result of Leach's (and his Council - make no mistake) action in 2011. The first really majhor storm should show up the short-sightedness of this policy.

Just sayin'




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