The engineering services committee was held on 24 September 2015. Apologies for lateness were received from the mayor, Cr Edgar, and Cr Bouillir. All other councillors were in attendance.
The agenda included the following items: (1) chairs report, (2) activity management plans, (3) Richmond’s central business district storm water plan, and (4) activity update from the manager.
I don’t normally talk about the chairs report as there is never much in them. However, I thought I would highlight a joint Tasman and Nelson council initiative that I think holds a lot of promise. The initiative I am talking about is the creation of a single set of planning and engineering standards for both Tasman and Nelson councils. In my opinion, it will provide greater levels of certainty (and cost savings) for developers working across both regions. This can only be positive in terms of cost savings for the building industry (and potential home buyers).
For this reason, I asked the chair to comment on the mood of the Nelson councillors (Cr Mike Ward, Cr Brian McGurk) who make up the joint steering group (which also comprises Cr Norris, and Cr Bryant), given the potential efficiencies and cost savings for the wider community that can be made. The chair confirmed that the mood was very positive and that Nelson councillors were keen to see this initiative succeed.
I only hope that it is not derailed in the same sense that the Yorke valley initiative has been, from what appears to be Nelson council wanting a greater share of the benefits. Like all good partnerships, both parties have to win equally.
Activity management plans
As part of the long term plan process, each of the four departments of council had to prepare an activity management plan (AMP) for all the things they planned to do over the next 10 years. For engineering, that involved writing detailed plans for: roads, water, and waste. The plans are drafted to fit within the financial umbrella of the annual and long term plans and describe in detail all the projects council will be doing and when. If funds are not allocated it is not planned to be done.
The annual and long term plans are just budgets. They show where the council wants to land the plane. Like all budgets the spending planned within them can change. Where there are changes, the annual report will show whether council stayed within its forecasted spending (the budget) or fell outside of it (resulting in either a surplus or deficit). For example, council might be asked to increase its service levels for grass cutting. If council agreed to do that then the level of activity and cost would increase, and the annual plan would report a deficit against the forecasted expenditure. Last year, council achieved a surplus (it earned and saved more money than it had planned to spend).
As I read through the transport AMP, I noticed that $1.04 million was still allocated against road works for the Salisbury road\Queen street intersection. My recollection of the draft AMP (that was presented with the long term plan) was an explicit reference to “traffic lights” at this intersection. The revised (and final) AMP presented to this committee appeared to have changed the words (by removing the reference to “traffic lights”), but had keep the original figure of $1.04 million being spent at this intersection.
Given the lack of community support for traffic lights at this intersection, I questioned this line entry in the transport AMP.
I was advised that staff had taken on board the communities desire not to have traffic lights at this intersection and for that reason had removed the words (“traffic lights”). I congratulated staff on this, but questioned why there was still a need to spend $1.04 million at this intersection. Surely, expenditure would be lower, if they were no longer planning to install traffic lights. In fact, if we had vetoed traffic lights, there was nothing to do at this intersection?
The explanation provided was that the $1.04 million would be used to examine the whole of Salisbury road to see what traffic solutions were needed (if any). I was also told that the amount was planned to be spent outside the next three years, so there was still time in the next LTP process to remove or change this line item.
I pointed out to councillors (and staff) that the words in the AMP did not refer to the whole of Salisbury road, but instead were associated only with the intersection. If the intention had changed, then the words in the AMP also should have changed – but they had not. I also found it strange that the amount of funds to be spent on this intersection had not changed from when they were originally intended to be spent on traffic lights. Surely, if no traffic lights were contemplated, the funding should have reduced to reflect merely investigatory work – which should not amount to $1.04 million.
I also pointed out that the AMP had already allocated roughly $500,000 to another part of Salisbury road (the William street intersection). In my mind, if the whole road was being reviewed (and a solution would not involve traffic lights) what other parts of Salisbury road required money being spent. As far as I was aware staff had only identified two areas of concern on Salisbury road.
If the Queen street intersection would not have lights, and William street already had funds allocated to it, why did we need to budget for $1.04 million for other parts of Salisbury road. It just did not make sense or add up. Accordingly, I invited councillors to remove the the $1.04 million, and just use the $500,000 (allocated to William street) for any Salisbury road reviews.
Unfortunately, I received no support from any councillors, and the AMP was approved as presented.
Richmond central business district – storm water plan
As everyone will be aware, Richmond’s central business district sunk beneath the waves during the 2011 and 2013 floods. To address the risks of future flooding, council has set aside a budget in the LTP ($14.7 million) to provide a solution.
Flood modelling for the current state of Richmond’s storm water system (for a 1 in 100 year flood event) is illustrated below.
A number of storm water solutions were presented to council in a series of council workshops held earlier this year. From those discussions, 3 options were presented in the report to council, which included the preferred option (a gravity pressure pipeline system). The other two options were using Beach road’s drain, or using a newly constructed outlet near the racecourse.
I will briefly outline all three options.
Option 1 (Beach road)
The estimated cost was $14.7 million. This essentially involved increasing the capacity of the Beach road and Queen street drainage system. Disadvantages of this option were the poor condition of Beach road drain and the impact of the tide. A high tide would prevent much of the water coming down the system into the sea.
Option 2 (Racecourse drain)
The estimated cost was 13.2 million. Instead of increasing the capacity of Beach road drain, a new drain would be constructed along the racecourse boundary (where the croquet club are currently located). The main disadvantages of this option was the cost of new piping and disruption at the Gladstone road intersection.
Option 3 (Oxford street pressured pipe system)
The estimated cost was $13.9 million). This option utilised the existing pipes in Oxford street and pressured the water (to move faster through the existing pipes) from Washbourn gardens to poutama drain (which runs along the railway reserve and then turns parallel to Queen street behind Club Waimea). To mitigate flood waters above Washbourn gardens (eg in Jimmy Creek), the pipe under Washbourn road would be increased in size. The main disadvantage of this option is the cost of increasing the capacity of poutama drain.
Flood modelling for this option showed the greatest improvement (as illustrated below).
Council received the report and approved further development of option 3.
Highlights from the engineering manager’s report include:
- Footpaths. Hill Street footpath (between Queen Street and William Street) is being reinstated as part of the ultra fast broadband (UFB) roll out. Chorus is paying for this portion of the work.
- Lighting. The LED upgrade continues with 187 LED street lights installed in Richmond (Salisbury Road to Washbourn Drive). The LED residents survey has received 22 responses (77% preferring the new LED lights). One of the benefits of LED light is the reduced upward spill. A number of residents (81%) have noticed an improved clarity in the night sky. The survey is located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/media-centre/public-notices/led-streetlights-questionnaire/.
- Rural road maintenance. Lots has happened in this space, including: culvert upgrades (Motueka valley highway, Tadmor-Glenhope Road, Hoult Valley Road, George Harvey Road, and Hiwipango Road), metalling (Aniseed Valley Road, ozens Road, Eighty-Eight Valley Road, Vaton Valley Road, Grooby Road, Martin Road, Pine Hill Road, Rocky River Road, Sunday Creek Road, and Wills Road), tree removal (Eighty-Eight Valley Road, Wai-iti Valley Road, Aniseed Valley Road, and Neudorf Road), advisory sign upgrades (Korere-Tophouse Road and Kerr Hill Road), and slip removal (Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Road, Baton Valley Road, Riwak-Sandy Bay Road, Motueka Valley Highway, and Stanley Brook Hill).
- Wangapeka road. This issue was raised during the public forum at the last meeting. Essentially, the road is the sole access route for 3 residential homes (and a forestry block) and is being washed away by the river. In the past landowners have constructed a rock wall, which has since been washed away. Wangapeka river is a class “Z” river, which according to council policy means any erosion control requires a 50% contribution from the landowner. Cost of any work could be up to $100,000. Council has held discussions with landowners and continue to seek an agreeable solution for all parties.
- Rivers. For the July period river maintenance was $131,000, which was less than the projected monthly expenditure of $167,000 (roughly $2 million per annum).
- Jackett Island. The sand bag wall was inspected on 7 September 2015. The survey confirms the long term trend of rising beach levels to the north and lowering beach levels to the south of the property
- Waste. The new kerbside recycling has now bedded down with all bins now delivered. Overall volumes for July and August 2015 were up 25% on the same period last year.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2015/2015-09-24.
The engineering services committee meeting was held on 13 August 2015. It was followed by a 2 hour workshop on the proposed storm water infrastructure for central Richmond, and the opening of the new recycling centre (picture of recycled plastic bottles above). Apologies were received from Cr Canton, otherwise all councilors were in attendance.
The agenda was very brief and comprised: (1) the chair’s report, (2) the minor improvements plan for 2015-16, (3) the engineering activity report, and (4) a presentation from engineering form MWH. I will discuss the main items of interest.
Before addressing the agenda, the public forum received two presentations.
The first issued concerned the shared use of footpaths in Brightwater. Garrick Batten raised concerns over the heightened risk of being hit by cyclists on the main street and wanted the “shared footpath” sign between the Domain and the shops removed. He suggested a new sign should read “cyclists shall walk”.
The second issue related to erosion of a road next to a river in Murchison that provided sole access to three residential homes (and forestry land). Cr Bryant, read out a letter from Rob Landau, that raised concerns over how council was responding (or not responding) to the problem. He felt the council should be proactive in resolving this problem and pointed out that part of the road was on reserve land. He felt council had a moral obligation (ie social justice) to do something, given council had authorised development along this road. The mayor indicated that a council delegation would investigate the issue further.
The report sought council approval for 8 engineering projects that were discussed at an earlier workshop held on 2 July 2015. I was unable to attend that workshop, but did have the opportunity to read the supporting workshop documents.
The workshop documents outlined 21 potential minor improvement projects that were assessed against various criteria (eg, safety, risk, and community demand), so they could be ranked. Some of these projects were already on hold, pending further consultation (for example, Motueka’s signalised pedestrian crossing, Salisbury Road mid-block crossing, and four others). Of the 21 projects, the workshop documents provided additional detail of the 9 highest ranked projects (that were not already on hold).
By way of background, the NZTA had already approved council’s request for $2.97 million under minor improvements in the 2015-18 period under the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). This comprised: $966,000 (for 2015-16), $991,000 (for 2016-17), and $1,017,000 (for 2017-18). This funding was NZTA’s contribution towards the total cost of proposed minor improvement projects. The NZTA contribution provided 52% of the total cost of a qualifying project, with the council funding the remaining 48%.
The 9 projects considered at the workshop are outlined below.
|Project||Description||Total Cost||TDC Cost|
|Wallace Street pedestrian crossing, Motueka||The speed limit on the street was 50km and there had been 3 incidents at the intersection (one was a car vs pedestrian incident) in the last 10 years. The project involved relocating the crossing an additional 3m east from the intersection and constructing a new kurb layout that reduced the street width near the intersection.||$40,000.00||$19,200.00|
|Whakarewa Street intersection||This was was a cross road intersection with a speed limit of 50km. There had been 10 incidents (2 serious) in the last 10 years. The project proposed sought to widen the turning area (that would allow a round-about in the future), improve line of sight, and cut back the existing traffic island.||$100,000.00||$48,000.00|
|Mapua Drive footpath||The speed limit along this road was currently 60km. There were no reported incidents in the last 10 years. The area was being developed for residential use (previously apple orchards). The project proposed a new foot path from Higgs Road intersection to Aranui Road.||$200,000.00||$96,000.00|
|Mapua Drive round-about||The speed limit was 60km and there had been 1 incident in the last 10 years. The project proposed a round-about (with four entrance roads) at the intersection, that would be co-funded by the developer, whose development would enter the round-about from a new road (Mapua Rise). Council were contributing up to $250,000 (50% of the expected costs).||$250,000.00||$120,000.00|
|Lower Queen Street widening||The speed limit is 70km and 1 incident along this part of the road had been reported in the last 10 years. The project proposed piping the 120m open drain near McShane Road. This would allow future widening of the road along this part of Queen Street.||$150,000.00||$72,000.00|
|Motupipi Street (Meihana Street) intersection (opp Fonterra factory)||The speed limit is 50km and there have been no reported incidents in the last 10 years at the “T” intersection. The project proposes removing the existing traffic island, adding a new traffic island in Meihanna Street, providing a right turning bay into Factory Road, and realigning the roads.||$120,000.00||$57,600.00|
|Whiteside bridge widening||The speed limit is 100km and there has been 1 incident in the last 10 years. The project proposes widening the box culvert by 3m to improve visibility when approaching or leaving George Harvey Road.||$65,000.00||$31,200.00|
|Upper Moutere footpath||The speed limit is 50km and there had been no reported incidents for the last 10 years. The project proposed a new foot path (100m) along the Moutre highway between Supplejack Valley Road and Sunrise Valley Road.||$175,000.00||$84,000.00|
|Flett Road intersection, Moutere||The speed limit on this bending part of the road is 100km and there had been 2 incidents in the last 10 years. The intersection had two entrance points (a “Y” intersection) and the project involved changing them to a single “T” intersection.||$250,000.00||$120,000.00 *|
* less the developer’s contribution of $69,000, under a consent order (of which the developer had paid $60,375).
Given possible legal issues around whether the Fleet Road project should proceed (or not), council resolved to defer the Flett Road project until legal advice and other solutions were considered.
Of the remaining projects, I raised concerns about: (1) Upper Moutre footpathing, (2) Lower Queen St piping, and (3) the Mapua drive footpath. I will discuss my reasons for challenging these projects below.
I also raised a broader question around the need to widen and rework so many roads. At the heart of this question was whether council needed to be investing so much into “minor” improvements. Something I had also raised when we were setting the long term plan. In my mind, just because we get a subsidy should not mean we should be throwing money at projects. Especially if they are minor.
By way of analogy, its like going into a retail shop sale and spending money during the “sale” event, because you have been able to receive a discount. The reality is that you still have to spend money to get the (perceived) saving.
I accept that the contribution does add value to council’s asset base – but the reality is that we cannot dispose or leverage those assets like in a private business.
The real question that councillors should be asking is do we really need to do this work and spend ratepayers money in this space. Is the work really needed now. And do we need to be doing so much work. Why can’t we spread these projects over a longer period, so they are affordable for ratepayers (the ones having to fund these projects). Why the urgency?
So many in the community question why council has to widen so many roads. It is seen as an unnecessary expense, at a time when the community cannot afford such rate increases. While the average rates increase across the district might be capped at 3%, the reality is that residential ratepayers rates increases are 1-2% above that mark.
It’s just not affordable when incomes are not increasing as fast. Rather, council need to be pulling back on its expenditure, in order to reign in rates increases to a more sustainable level. Minor improvements are seen as a luxury, that provide very minor benefits to a small part of the community. Rather, the money should be spent on major improvements – stuff that really needs to be done.
Unfortunately, some councilors did not appreciate me re-litigating discussions that had been had during the earlier workshop (or long term plan) – with accusations of “grandstanding” being made. I reminded the councillor that decisions were not made in workshops – a point the mayor had vigorously made in the newspapers some months earlier. Nor was my absence at the workshop, a license to not enter into a debate. The whole point of this public meeting was to debate the issues. If that meant items were re-litigated (from a private meeting) in the public forum, so be it. This was hardly grandstanding.
Further, while I appreciated I had lost the debate about the funding of minor improvements in the long term plan, I felt it was appropriate to raise the issue again, given we were now being confronted with the detail and reasons for these minor improvement projects. In my mind, council needed to take stock of the reality, and really ask if this work needed to be done.
Given the mood around the table was hardly embracing an examination of the proposed projects, I focused on the three projects that I had the greatest difficulty supporting. Namely, Upper Moutre footpath, Lower Queen St piping, and the Mapua drive footpath.
In my mind, the staff report did not provide enough evidence for me to see the justification for the Moutere footpath project. While there was mention by a councillor of safety issues for school children walking to school (a sensible justification), no mention of this reason was made in the report for justifying the project. Nor was there any mention of how many children (or adults) used this part of the road, or how many vehicles used the road at the same time?
If speed was the issue, then had alternative measures been deployed first? Was this a safety issue, or was it just a request to have a footpath by some residents because one it would be nice to have? Interestingly, the speed limit was 50km and there had been no reported incidents on this part of the road. The lack of any evidence to support a safety justification for the work, made it look like a luxury project – and I was not going to support a nice to have project. More information was required.
Fortunately, this argument found favour with the mayor and Cr King, and with their nod of approval it found favour with other councilors. Cr King also suggested that a footpath was unlikely to prevent a speeding car hitting a pedestrian and he suggested a driver feedback sign be deployed while further information was being gathered.
In my mind, the lower Queen Street piping project was another road widening exercise. More road widening for the sake of widening roads in anticipation of more vehicle use. Having visited a number of residents, one complaint that came across from residents when talking about road works was the perception of the council undertaking quite unnecessary work, which they had to fund. It is a message that was also clearly conveyed in the recent residents survey. The message I tried to convey in the council chamber was that the community did not want any more roads widened.
Unlike the Moutere project (which had no road incidents), there had been one incident along this road, which had involved a vehicle going into the open ditch. Having driven down this road many times I was left wondering how someone could drive into the ditch? It was not clear in the report if it was the road or driver error that caused the incident. I suspect it was the later. Given it did not result in a fatality, was quite rare (one incident in ten years), and involved just 120 metres of the road, I could not see why we would want to pipe this part of the road, at this time. Put to the vote, I was the only one who did not support this project.
Mapua Drive was another footpath project. Those who have driven down this road (the old road to Motueka via Ruby bay), will be aware that the old apple orchard at the top of the hill has been replaced with a new residential development. A few houses have begun to appear already and a new round-about is about to be installed at the Higgs Road intersection.
The project proposed a footpath from the proposed roundabout down the hill towards the old Mapua Tavern on the corner. The justification was it would be used by new residents wanting to walk to Mapua, and in particular, the local school. In my opinion, the road in question was already very wide and provided sufficient distance from traveling vehicles to make walking on the edge of the road fairly safe (especially in comparison to the Moutere footpath project). In my opinion, people would probably want to walk down Higgs Road, rather than Mapua drive. Was council footpathing the wrong road? Further, the Motueka bypass had removed a number of vehicles (including heavy vehicles) off Mapua Drive.
In my mind, the project anticipated use, rather than responding to demand. If we are to reduce costs (and rates) “minor” projects needed to react to need, rather than anticipating need. So often council over invest in the wrong areas based on misinformed assumptions. Surely, the better approach was to defer this project to another year (or two), to see if there was such a need? What if all the residents were retirees? There was simply no evidence to justify this project. If it was a safety issue, then it should have been a “major” project, and more information around safety provided in the report – but, there was none.
In my opinion, we should be doing half of the minor projects we were proposing to do each year. And this was another nice to have, aesthetically pleasing, (minor) project, that could have waited.
Again, I was voted down.
Engineering activity highlights include:
- Gladstone Road traffic lights. These are to be monitored by new cameras and once installed (by July) will allow NZTA’s traffic operations centre in Wellington to manage the lights more effectively during peak hours. Effectively, automation over-ride by a central control room. Other minor adjustments will also be made around the same time to improve traffic flow.
- New ice lights. These have been installed on Koere-Tophouse Road, Kerr Hill, Motueka Valley Highway, and Riwak-Sandy bay Road.
- New LED lights. 100 LED lights have been installed during July.
- School campaigns. A back to school print and radio promotion was run in term one to remind drivers to slow down and expect children around schools. Another campaign was held in June to “look out” for kids crossing roads.
- Rubbish. Illegal rubbish dumping (fly tipping) has occurred in the Waimea. Electronic surveillance has been deployed on one site.
- Rivers. River maintenance expenditure (2014-15) was $1,385,000 ($605,000 under budget). These funds will be carried forward into the next financial year. River classification “Z” funding is 50% subsidised by central government. There were only two applications for funding of River “Z” work (in Murchison). Waimea river hydraulic modeling will be undertaken to measure current performance of mitigation measures and aid future modeling.
- Jackett Island. Sandbags remain in good condition, although there appears to be some erosion to the north.
- Marahau boat launching ramp. The steel walkway to the timber jetty has been reinstalled.
- Ruby bay revetment wall. The repair of steps from Tait Street to the foreshore have been deferred until storm water outlet repair work has been completed.
- Solid waste. The new recycling service is now up and running. In my opinion, this has been a very well managed transition to a new service and staff should take some satisfaction in its implementation. Feedback from residents I have spoken to so far (I’m doing a mid-term walk about in Richmond), have nothing but praise for the new service. Of course, there will be glitches, but its the putting right that counts. And in case you were wondering, your recycling bin has an average life expectancy of 10-15 years.
- York Valley. Work also continues on a regional landfill agreement (at York Valley) with NCC. In my opinion, this is a no brainer, and it surprises me that NCC councillors have not been more supportive of the initiative. No doubt NCC’s review of the proposal (by Deloitte) will show this is a good proposal for the region. And hopefully the start of a few more joint service initiatives that save ratepayers in both regions money (and rates).
The presentation was intended to introduce key members of the MWH engineering team to councilors. The presentation outlined the international experience of the company and their areas of expertise (see http://www.mwhglobal.com).
MWH had been an established provider of engineering advice to council for 15 years. For example, MWH were currently engaged to provide storm water modeling advice to council.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2015/2015-08-13.
Recycling centre – opening
Finally, after the meeting was closed, councillors were invited to attend the opening of the new recycling centre. Crs Mirfin, Norris, Dowler, Higgins, Sangster, and myself attended with the mayor.
It is an amazing operation and will be of real benefit to Tasman (and perhaps Nelson) region in reducing the amount of waste going to landfills (and the cost of operating landfills). And that has to be good for the environment (and the ratepayers pocket).
The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 10 July 2014. Apologies were received from Cr Bouillir, Cr Sangster and myself.
The meeting agenda received several reports including: (1) Horse Terrace Bridge – historic schedule inclusion, (2) dairy farm effluent compliance, and (3) the environment and planning managers report. The council also received a deputation from the Murchison Community Council.
Horse Terrace Bridge
A deputation by Murchison Community Council on the historic value of Horse Terrace bridge was received by council before considering the staff report. The report recommended that the bridge at Upper Matakitaki be included in the heritage schedule in the next Tasman Resource Management Plan change.. The report advised that the Heritage listing would not require the bridge to be maintained beyond its expected life of 40 years. Nor was there any planned roading work. On this basis council agreed with the staff recommendation.
Dairy farm effluent compliance
Council received the staff report. The report outlined the compliance results from the 2013-14 farm dairy survey. In the 2013/2014 season a total of 146 dairy sheds had active discharges in the Tasman District. Of those 140 farm dairies operated as Permitted Activities and the remaining 6 held Resource Consents to discharge treated effluent to water. The final compliance results for all 146 farms were: 87% – Fully Compliant, 17% – Non- Compliant, and 1% – Significantly Non-Compliant and related to the direct discharge of effluent to water. Similar to past seasons, ponding featured as the most common issue of non-compliance in the non-compliant category.
Minor ponding is present after more than one hour has passed since effluent disposal (8 farms). In 6 cases this was less than 5m2, the remaining 2 farms had intermittent ponding over an area less than 10m2. In all cases the ponding was just deep enough to splash.
The one farm graded “Significantly Non-compliant” was a new venture involving re-establishment and expansion of a former dairy operation. The direct discharge of animal effluent into a significant and protected waterway form the effluent system forced the Council to prosecute with the matter now before the courts.
The removal of land-based navigation aids over the last 18 months has raised some concern around safety in terms of navigation into some of our channels such as Mapua and Waitapu. However, teething problems with the floating bouys along the appropriate channel has now been resolved.
The Safer Journeys to Schools work program is ongoing with 5 schools agreeing to take part. They are: Appleby, Mahana, South Motueka, Brooklands and Lower Moutere. It is anticipated more schools will join the program.
Feedback from the community regarding possible speed limit changes closed on 30 June 2014. Over 110 requests were received.
Expenditure through the river maintenance contract with Taylors Contracting Ltd is estimated at $1,770,000 as opposed to that forecast of $1,884,000 (underspent by $114,000 or 6%). Rock bank protection work was completed in the Tadmor, Riwaka and Upper Motueka Rivers. The spray season ended in early May with nearly all river lengths completed. The native riparian planting programme began in early May with nearly half of the 14,000 plants now in the ground.
Five new signs have been put up around Waimea/Wairoa, Wai-iti and Upper Motueka at illegal dumping hotspots and staff are considering electronic monitoring of these sites.
Staff have put a hold on granting further subsidies in River Z areas as the remaining budget for this financial year along with $150,000 (50%) of next year’s budget has already been committed.
The Nelson Environment Centre (NEC), jointly contracted by Nelson City and Tasman District Councils, is delivering a waste minimisation programme over a three year period.
The first Second Hand Sunday event proved very successful, with approximately 200 households taking part (around 40 in Richmond). It is likely that the event will become a regular event and in future will be across the whole district.
One contractor has defaulted on their contract resulting in council defaulting on its payment to the contractor. Legal proceedings are being considered.
Ten subdivision engineering plans and as-built plans have been received. Seven have been approved, two have been returned to the applicant and one is in progress.
An initiative to improve cycle crossing on lower Queen Street has been placed on hold pending a potential joint project with NZTA.
More traffic lights?
Staff have identified that vehicles are using residential streets as a short cut onto Salisbury Road to avoid traffic signals. What a surprise (not)! Staff are investigating potential solutions. Hopefully, none involve more traffic lights! Although I suspect they will.
Staff need to realise that its the traffic lights that are causing the problems on Salisbury road. We need less not more of them. I’d like to see the Talbot\Salisbury Rd Traffic lights replaced with a roundabout as it defies any logic to be sitting at a traffic light early in the morning when there is no oncoming traffic.
I’d like to see Richmond as a town where we don’t have any traffic lights – and another reason why its better to live in Tasman. If towns in the UK can remove their traffic lights in favour of self regulating traffic management solutions – why can’t we.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2014/2014-07-10.