Tagged: Wastewater

Engineering services committee meeting (10 November)

Hill Street \ William Street pedestrian refuge (a minor improvement?)

The engineering committee meeting was held on 10 November 2016. All councillors were present. Four reports were received with no decisions required.

The agenda included: (1) large developments, (2) renewal of water utilities operations and maintenance contract, (3) minor improvement programme, (4) engineering services activity report, and (5) chair’s report.

Public forum

Graeme Dick (a property developer) spoke about the Richmond West development area. He raised concerns that council was 5+ years behind in infrastructure, and 10 years behind in growth planning. He considered that Richmond had experienced 50% growth in the last 10 years (on average 5% per year) and Mapua 25% growth over the same period. Graeme suggested that urgent action was required for Mapua’s water pipe renewals (probably a $6-7 million cost). He stressed that council should not leave this late in the long term plan (LTP).

Large developments

Richmond, Mapua and Motueka has seen very high levels of residential development. This growth is well in excess of predictions underpinning the Council’s 2015 Long Term Plan (LTP) – approximately 300% of what was anticipated. Many developers are requesting that the Council advance capital projects to allow for growth. For example, Graeme Dick, a developer who spoke at the public forum (and who I am told, is a good friend of the mayor’s).

The following table illustrates future potential housing (to be realised):

Undeveloped residential zones

Consented development

Development potential

Land area

Housing potential

Land area

Housing potential

Land area

Housing potential

Richmond

34.84

379

17.48

210

108.82

1259

Mapua

1.5

26

16.8

131

8.9

107

Motueka

10.5

124

6.9

85

38

496

Total

46.84

469

41.18

426

155.72

1862

There are land parcels (46.84 ha) that landowners are residential zoned, but not developed (ie 469 vacant lots). In addition, 426 sections are consented, but are still waiting to be constructed.

At the same time, developers have indicated that they are interested in developing a further 155.72 ha, but are unable to due to a lack of services (ie water and wastewater).

Consequently, staff expect to recommend that council consider a redistribution of projects and/or promoting additional capital funding in certain locations as part of the development of the 2018 Long Term Plan.

Council received this report (no decision was required).

Renewal of water utilities operations and maintenance contract

The current Water Utilities Operations and Maintenance contract was awarded in July 2007 for three operational periods (three plus three plus four years) subject to satisfactory performance. The contract has a value of approximately $5 million per annum.

The current contract was due to expire on 30 June 2017. However, on 3 March 2016 the engineering services committee approved an extension of the current contract for up to 12 months until 30 June 2018 (to allow time to develop a new Water Utilities contract, and proceed with the agreed tendering process).

Beca have been engaged, through a competitive tendering process, to write the tender documentation for a new contract and to procure a contractor to deliver the required services. The next stage of the process prior to tender is the Request for Qualification, which is a call for parties to lodge their interest in being shortlisted for the tender.

Council received this report (no decision was required).

Minor improvement programme

The Minor Improvements work activity is defined by NZTA. This work category provides for the construction and implementation of low-cost and low-risk improvements to the transport system to a maximum total cost per project of $300,000. The work is subsidised by NZTA at 51% for the 2016-17 year. The total budget for the 2016-17 year is around $991,000.

The minor improvements work programme for 2016-17 was authorised by the previous council. At that meeting, I objected to a number of projects, which I considered were unnecessary. However, I was a lone voice on that council. In my opinion, council was acting under a retails sales mentality (ie spending money it did not need too, to get a 50% discount). If council was to reduce expenditure, and the need to raise more revenue from ratepayers via rates increases, it needed to tighten its minor improvements budget. In many cases projects were not required.

In my opinion, the minor improvements budget should be used in response to customer driven requests, rather than staff anticipating what ratepayers wanted. Adopting this approach would reduce non-critical expenditure, reduce pressure on staff resources, and enable council to focus on the real priorities.

I again raised this point in the meeting, but was advised by staff that council could not undo the approved minor improvement works for 2016-17. However, it could review the 2017-18 works (if and when they arise).

Engineering services activity report

Highlights from the engineering manager’s report include:

  • Staff. Engineering Services Manager Peter Thomson has resigned his position after almost 19 years with Council in this role and will finish his employment on Friday 18 November 2016.

  • Developments. Only one new subdivision as-built plan has been received and approved since the last update. Council received an application for 138 residential lots in Richmond West. A subdivision consent for approximately 130 lots in Richmond South is also being processed. Pre-application discussions are progressing with another landowner for a further 50 lots. Two large existing subdivisions in Mapua are continuing (approximately 170 lots combined). Wakefield is to see a 63-lot subdivision in the next 12 months which will include a link from Pitfure Road with Edwards Street.

  • Asset management. Amendments and additions to the engineering infrastructural asset data are currently being imported to the asset management system. In the current update period there are 2,070 new assets,760 retired, replaced or removed assets and 4,320 amended asset records. These changes reflect assets created or effected by capital works projects, renewals projects subdivision works and maintenance works.

  • Digitisation. In October staff concluded their investigation and selection of alternative resource consent management software. Foundation Footprint has been engaged to provide cloud software that will enable Engineering staff to better track and manage their consents.

  • Works. There are 40 active projects on council’s books: 20 in preliminary design stage, nine in detailed design stage, one in procurement stage (Queen Street Infrastructure Project) and 10 in construction stage, and 13 in review.

  • Water network. Audit results for this period were good with the contractor achieving a score of 91%. The site audits are part of the operations and maintenance contract performance criteria where a minimum score of 80% is required to avoid financial penalties. An additional bore has been drilled on the Collingwood Scheme as part of the eventual treatment plant upgrade which will be included in the next Long Term Plan to meet drinking water standards.

  • Wastewater. There continues to be regular pump blockages at most pump stations in Mapua, with 8 in the last month. The cause of all the Higgs-1 pump station blockages was wet wipes.

  • Trade waste. Implementation of the trade waste section of the 2015 Wastewater Bylaw is currently underway. Initial work has begun to register trade dischargers. Approximately 60% of these have completed the process. 752 potential trade waste dischargers in the district have been identified.

  • Waste management. Operations at Resource Recovery Centres have been busier than normal with waste volumes around 5% higher than budget for the first quarter. In early October there was a hazardous waste incident at the Richmond RRC with an unwashed nitric acid container identified. On 22 September 2016 TDC and Nelson City Council both separately resolved to proceed with a joint committee to manage the Councils’ two landfills from 1 July 2017. This resolution is subject to obtaining authorisation from the Commerce Commission.

  • Stormwater. Site audits undertaken during August and September indicate a contractor performance level of 93% and 88% respectively for stormwater maintenance. The contractor is increasing the frequency of routine maintenance (vegetation control, etc.) in drains and creeks throughout the region as we experience strong spring growth. The recently approved $30,000 upgrade work for Ned’s Creek in Murchison has progressed with a level survey of the site. A bund is also proposed to help reduce the number of flooding occurrences on properties along Hampden Street. The Borck Creek planting programme has been completed for 2016, and programmed maintenance of the planting has commenced (scheduled over three years).

  • Road works. Upcoming urban works include: pavement repairs to Champion Rd at Hill St roundabout, clearing of a water courses adjacent to the Sandy Bay Marahau Road, investigate repair of the Salisbury Road bus shelter near Talbot Street, resealing of the back carpark of Armadillos (which is mostly occupied by staff parking), and resealing the Motueka Service Centre carpark off Hickmott Place. Shoulder flanking to improve surface water runoff has been completed on Moutere Highway, Bridge Valley Road, Robinson Road, Lower Queen Street, Haycocks Road, Aniseed Valley Road, Kerr Hill Road, Lansdowne Road, and Pigeon Valley Road. Culvert replacements have been completed on Wairoa Gorge Road, Serpentine River Road, Rocky River Road, Brooklyn Valley Road, Motueka River West Bank Road and Tadmor-Bushend Road. Maintenance metalling is continuing, with 4,500 m³ (45% of annual total) completed to date. Network wide roadside mowing began in late September and generally takes a minimum of six weeks, depending on weather. Structural repairs and improvements at 26 bridges are currently being designed, with a contract to be tendered early in the new year.

  • Jackett Island. The routine 3-monthly survey of Jackett Island was completed on 15 September 2016, which is after the recent repair work and will record any changes in the sand bag wall profile. Preliminary observations from the recent survey show there has been no visible change to the bulk of the fore dune and intertidal platform for the majority of the length of Jackett Island except for the southern extremity of the Island.

Chairs report

Finally, I want to highlight an observation made by the chair – and one I agree with:

One of the things I am particularly keen to see improved in this term of council is the way we manage Customer Service Requests (CSRs) and how they are reported back to the Councillor or the person who originally lodged the request.

In my opinion its very much part of putting the customer at the centre of everything we do. My observation from speaking with residents is that sometimes there appears to be an absence of any follow up. However, I am told by council staff that they do ask customers if they want to be followed up.

In my opinion, providing 3G phone apps like Nelson City council’s “snap send solve” app, or Wellington City council’s “fix it” app, or “my council services” (a third party app which apparently delivers requests to TDC), provide a very efficient means of ensuring good follow up. As well as an excellent way for customers to inform councils about things that need fixing.

Keeping our walk ways tidy – work request response times

On a related matter, not discussed at the meeting (but one I subsequently followed up on), I was advised by staff that in terms of public work request response times for public walkways, the public should expect a work request to have been actioned within 2 weeks of notification. For safety hazards, a shorter time can be expected.

Detritus” (defined as any collection of fragments and/or material on a sealed surface eg loose chip, leaves, twigs etc) has a maximum response time of 2 weeks in most cases – except for CBD which is 2 days.

Response times apply from when the contractor first becomes aware of the defect. Anything that is a safety hazard can be assigned shorter response times.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/committees-and-subcommittees/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2016/2016-11-10.

Draft minutes are available upon request from TDC.

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Engineering committee meeting (3 March)

The engineering committee meeting was held on 3 March 2016. Apologies were received from Cr Mirfin, Cr Dowler and Cr Edgar (for absence) and myself (for lateness). Cr Higgins also arrived late.

The agenda included: (1) Kaiteriteri wastewater pipeline replacement, (2) Utilities operations and maintenance contract renewals, (3) school zones, (4) NRSBU annual report, (5) engineering services activity update, and (6) chair’s report. I will highlight the main points of interest for me. The Richmond parking survey report was deferred to the next engineering meeting.

There were no public forum presentations. However, Cr Bryant noted that the Council had received a letter from the Murchison & Districts Community Council regarding the poor state of the Tutaki South and Matakitaki Roads.

Kaiteriteri wastewater pipeline replacement

Staff together together with Tonkin Taylor consultants spoke to a powerpoint presentation outlining the Kaiteriteri Wastewater Pipeline replacement project (formerly known as the Tapu Bay pipeline). Essentially the project sought to replace an existing temporary pipe with a larger 280mm pipeline, while catering for projected growth over the next 50 years. The new pipe would have a life expectancy of 90 years. Iwi were fully consulted throughout the project and supported the revised design.

In 2004 a temporary pipeline was installed as a temporary replacement for the existing pipeline (around 8.5km long) with a capacity of 27-35 litres per second. A larger pipeline is required for projected growth. The new pipeline will have a 90 year life. It will run from Cederman drive to Goodall road (around 8.7 km long), with a capacity of 29-38 litres per second. Pump stations at Tapu bay and Stephens bay will also be reconfigured.

The reduction in cost was mainly due to: (1) using a gravity fed system, so no pumps, (2) no significant private land purchases required, and (3) reduced consultancy fees. The design is also staged over two separate financial years. Spreading expenditure over two years reduces the pressure on rates. Had the work been done in one year, further rates increases may have been required to meet the expenditure spike in that year. The design phase will be completed by Q2 of 2016. A public tender is then expected to be called for in mid-2016. Completion of the project is expected by mid-2018.

Council endorsed the project.

For me the main highlight of this presentation was how the project had been revisited and redesigned to bring costs down. The initial cost estimate provided for in the Long Term Plan (LTP) was $4.5 million. However, the revised design was now estimated to cost $3.5 million.

My ambition for TDC is to bring about a culture change within the organisation. One that puts the customer at the centre of everything TDC does. For me, this presentation showed the culture was changing for the better within some parts of TDC. A culture of innovation and challenging cost assumptions. And that needs to be encouraged and complimented.

One of the design challenges with the new pipeline was a windy and steep road. The design also had to cope with variable wastewater flows which peak during the summer holiday period (illustrated below).

Normal flows vs summer flows

20160303-K-Pipes-Flow

Hydraulic capacity – comparison of current route (left) vs redesigned route (right)

20160303-K-Pipes-Hydro

Maintenance contract renewals

The current Water Utilities Operations and Maintenance Contract (688) with Downer expires on 30 June 2017. Council approved the staff recommendation that a review be undertaken of the contract methodology and that a new contract be publicly tendered. Council also approved the existing contract being extended 12 months until 30 June 2018, so that the review and tendering process could be undertaken.

The current contract was awarded in July 2007 and was awarded for three operational periods (3 + 3 + 4 years), subject to satisfactory performance. The contract has a value of approximately $5 million per annum.

Staff also considered aligning the end of the new contract with the end of the Nelson City Council’s current utilities contract, held by Nelmac. This was considered a risk and the shorter term of the contract to achieve this would not be cost-effective for Tasman District Council.

It was suggested that a minimum overall term of 9 years 2018-2027 (5 + 2 + 2 years or similar) would be optimum both in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency. This would also provide possible intervals for future alignment with Nelson City Council’s next procurement round, expected circa 2023 or later.

I support any opportunities for alignment that might generate future cost savings. Although I agree that that alignment must be balanced against ensuring we get good value for money now.

School zones

Council approved the installation of a variable speed limit school zone signage for Ranzau School, Motupipi School, and Hope School. Council also approved the installation of standard school warning signs for Central Takaka School and Dovedale School. In addition council, approved the installation of a static “40 when children present” signs for Brooklyn School, Mapua School, Lower Moutere School, and Mahana School. Additional standard school warning signs on Greenhill Road were also approved for Ngatimoti School.

School Action Cost
Ranzau School Install variable school signs $21,000
Motupipi School Install variable school signs $21,400
Hope School Install variable school signs $24,800
Brooklyn School Install static school zone signs $13,500
Mapua School Install static school zone signs $13,400
Lower Moutere School Install static school zone signs $9,000
Mahana School Install static school zone signs $9,000.00
Central Takaka School Review location and install additional standard school warning signs $1,200
Dovedale School Review location and install additional standard school warning signs $600
Ngatimoti School Review location and install additional standard school warning signs $400
Total cost   $114,300.00

Funds of $20,000 were allocated in this financial year with a further $120,000 provided in the next financial year. The funding for these signs would come from the minor improvements budget.

NRSBU annual report

The council received copies of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) Annual Report 2014-15 and the Business Plan 2016-17 (attached to the agenda).

The NRSBU reported a surplus of $1,934,722 for 2014-15 (in contrast to a $1,631,099 surplus in 2013-14). Total revenue was $7,568,700, less total expenses of $5,633,978. Equity at year end was $38,849,766.

Several performance indicators are illustrated below. The report included additional performance indicators.

Best Island treatment plant 

NRSBU-2014-BestIsland

Overflow events

Three overflow events occurred during the year (as illustrated below).

NRSBU-2014-PR3-2

Odour events

No odour events were reported during the year.

NRSBU-2014-PR3-4

Average inflow to Bell Island

NRSBU-2014-PR7-1

Bio-solid applications

The graph below shows the application of nitrogen at Rabbit island and Bell Island is within capacity levels of these areas.

NRSBU-2014-PR7-7

Benchmarking performance

Treatment plant Operational costs Daily average inflow m3/ day Average BOD load mg/L Power kWh/month Dry solids Cost per m3 Cost per kg BOD Cost per population equivalent
Best Island $2,997,000.00 13296 440 299806 822 $0.62 $1.40 $32.77
Benchmark $2,917,709.00 16749 377 314631 706 $0.48 $1.26 $29.55

Capital expenditure (renewals)

Renewal Budget Costs
Miscellaneous $3,826.00
Inlet $8,588.00
Pump stations $73,371.00
Alteration basin $14,737.00
Primary clarifier $12,869.00
Sludge treatment $194,560.00
Sludge treatment A-train $17,186.00
Ponds $29,542.00
Rabbit Island $14,956.00
Total $658,000.00 $368,635.00

Engineering activity report

Highlights from the manager’s report include:

  • Asset management systems: Waugh Consulting has been engaged to lead a project to review asset management (AM) systems and processes across the council.
  • Asset condition survey: Downer are currently undertaking a condition survey of above ground assets at all major sites (pump stations, reservoirs, treatment plants, floodgates). This is the first time that a major condition survey has been completed using digital systems rather than a paper-based system which involved double-handling to enter data.
  • Property developments: Stage-3 of the Wahanga Ltd development off Grey Street, comprising 36 fully serviced residential lot is nearing completion. The final stage of Trek Developments Richmond (end of Fairose Drive), compromising 21 residential lots, has been completed. Hart Subdivision Richmond (Corner of Hill Street and Hart Road) comprising 32 residential lots, has begun. Stages 4 and 6 of Mapua Joint Ventures development, comprising 20 residential lots and a reserve is underway. Two new supermarkets are proposed (one at the corner of Salisbury Road and Champion Road, and the other at the corner of SH6 and Bateup Rd (Three Brothers corner). An application in Richmond South at the southern corner of Paton Road and Hart Road\Bateup Road (comprising around 200 to 300 residential sections) was expected (but did not eventuate).
  • Water treatment plants: The Richmond Water Treatment Plant has been operating well with only some minor teething issues with electronic programming that were resolved. Prior to Christmas the bore pump at Riwaka failed on the Kaiteriteri water scheme. A spare pump was available from another pump station and was installed urgently over a weekend by the contractor. A spare pump was purchased for this facility as a backup and will be used as the standby pump for the next upgrade. E coli was detected at the Champion Road Reservoir just before Christmas, subsequent sampling for three days provided clear results.
  • Stormwater: Pre-storm checks were carried out prior to the start of the Nelson Anniversary-Waitangi Day holiday period and again prior to the recent rain storm event on 17-18 February 2016. The Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of the storm event in Richmond was 4% (1-in-25 year) over a 24-hour period. Overall the stormwater system capacities were tested and worked well with no pipe blockages.
  • Footpaths: Concrete and Metals have now completed all the footpath rehabilitation and pram ramp sites in Richmond and Wakefield. A new footpath was also constructed in River Terrace Road Brightwater.
  • Lighting: Over 1500 LED lights were installed up to the end of January 2016, with around 700 remaining. The total conversion should be completed by the end of March 2016.
  • Consents: Engineering Services staff have recently received notification that the Global Spraying Consent has been granted. The Council has a 15 year consent to carry out a variety of activities with regard to weed management.
  • Waste: Kerbside recycling volumes continue to climb, with an on-going increase of 22% when compared with last year. This is being driven by growth in non-glass recycling, while glass recycling is slightly down. Regional waste to landfill is illustrated below.

NRSBU-2014-RegionalLandfill

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/2016/2016-03-03.

Engineering committee meeting (9 April)

The engineering committee meeting was held on 9 April 2015. Apologies were received from Crs Edgar and Mirfin, and from Cr Higgins for lateness.

The agenda was brief, but with much to digest. The agenda included (1) a draft (revised) Wastewater bylaw, (2) joint engineering standards with Nelson City Council (NCC), (3) engineering department’s activity update report, and (4) a late item relating to delegated authority changes.

I hope to comment later on these items.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes can be found at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2015/2015-04-09.

Engineering services committee (15 May)

The engineering services committee meeting was held on 15 May 2014.

The agenda included the following topics: (1) sewerage operation and management, (2) driver feedback signs, (3) bridge replacement, and (4) the engineering manager’s report. A confidential session was held to consider a solid waste services proposal.

Sewerage

Unfortunately the report from the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) was not tabled and instead deferred to the next meeting due to NRSBU staff not being able to present the report to council. Nevertheless the agenda (pp 5 to 30) does contain some useful information on TDC’s sewerage operation that the people from the NRSBU were going to talk too. I look forward to NRSBU’s future presentation.

Driver feedback signs

Speed issues have been a major concern for schools and residents in the region. As part of councils efforts to address the issue, council has decided to purchase three “driver feedback signs” (that are solar powered) at a total cost of $40,000. These are signs that inform the driver of their approaching speed. Studies conducted both in the UK and USA have found radar speed signs to effectively slow traffic down (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar_speed_sign). Six locations have been identified.

Bridge work

A number of trucking businesses are wanting to use the larger High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) capable trucks and trailers. These new trucks are longer and have more carrying capacity (roughly 20% more) than other trucks. Theoretically, their use should see a reduction in the number of truck trips on our roads and possibly improved safety. Their impact on the roads is also no greater than existing trucks due to their axel configuration. This results in the load weight of the truck being evenly distributed, so that there is no greater impact on road wear and tear than from other trucks. However, narrow bridges pose a problem to cross. Tasman has a number of narrow bridges.

After consultation with the industry, staff identified that the most efficient route for HPMV’s to the rest of the south island was along the Motueka Valley Highway which would involve only one narrow bridge replacement. A map of the route in the agenda (p 47). The estimated cost of the bridge work was $700,000 and would only proceed if it received a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) subsidy of 59%. An effective cost to ratepayers of $287,000. The project was also expected to be completed within the existing approved 2013-14 bridge renewal budget. On this basis, council approved the expenditure.

Manager’s report

The engineering manager’s report provided an update of the engineering departments activities, reorganisation, and programme delivery schedule.

Of particular interest for me was the reported savings from the departments reorganisation, although the manager stressed that this could deviate in future quarters. The 2013 third quarter (Q3) showed a total saving of $1,384,000 against plan, compared to the forecast saving of $710,000 for the same period. A positive variance of $674,000. This was a good result but whether this trend continues as the departments activities are reduced (as council strive to make savings from unnecessary capital expenditure) will be interesting to monitor.

Subsidised road renewals appear to be coming in under forecasted budgets of just over $6 million. A possible saving of $100,000-200,000. Although this saving is likely to be taken up by a shortfall of $100,000 in river maintenance activities. River work in the Buller catchment is underway with current costs appearing to be tracking below planned expenditure. Whether this is a timing issue or a trend will be interesting to watch.

Seawater inundation at the Motueka waste water plant has brought forward the decommissioning of one of the wetland ponds. The easter storm raised the risk of waste water overflows in Golden Bay. However, these were avoided due to the efforts of the contractor who tankard the effluent from site to site.

Stormwater networks held up well in March and April. Regular pre-storm inspections and the removal of debris are now being undertaken prior to forecasted heavy rain events. Areas of high risk continue to have sandbags stationed nearby.

The councils resource consent for landfill operations expires in September 2015 and work has begun to ensure consents are in place going forward.

The construction of reservoir and supply pipelines above Champion Road to increase supply for new Richmond east subdivisions are over budget due to road works and land purchases. The upgrade to Champion Road storm water system (to mitigate flooding to a Q100 event) is behind schedule due to resource consenting issues. Other projects behind schedule include: (1) the regions growth model report (now scheduled for June), (2) the regions parking management strategy report (now after May), and (3) the hydraulic modelling of Richmond. Given the size and number of other projects the engineering department is undertaking, some lag might be expected. I certainly do not have any concerns at this point in time.

Reader’s interested in the progress of other engineering projects should refer to the agenda (pp 62 to 70).

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2014/2014-05-15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Services Committee (3 April)

The engineering services committee meeting was held on 3 April 2014. Apologies were received from Crs Bryant, King, Norriss and myself.

The meeting received a number of staff update reports (not requiring decisions) on the following topics: (1) the great taste trail, (2) the proposed Takaka wastewater treatment plant upgrade, (3) erosion risk in Pukekoikoi, and (4) flooding issues near Neds creek in Murchison. The engineering services manager also provide a brief update on the engineering team’s recent activities.

The Tasman Cycle Trail (aka the Great Taste Trail)

In 2010 the Council decided to provide capital funding for the construction a 175 km cycle trail – known as the Tasman Great Taste Trail (the Tasman cycle trail). The project was broken up into different stages. Stage 1 comprises Richmond to Wakefield, and Richmond to Kaiteriteri (via Motueka) – a total distance of 76.6 km. Stage 2 will be from Wakefield (via Tapawera) to Riwaka – a total distance of 98 km. Stage 1 (Wakefield to Richmond to Kaiteriteri) has now been substantially completed. A useful map of the entire trail is provided in the agenda (pp 14 to 23).

With any capital investment comes maintenance costs, which are the responsibility of ratepayers (summarised in the table below). This year’s maintenance cost for the trail is $83,000. It is estimated that between $177,000 to $191,000 will be required annually for maintenance once the entire 174.6km trail is complete.

Tasman Cycle Trail Distance Maintenance costs Maintenance cost per km
Stage 1 (completed)
Trust managed trail (council grant funded) 33.6 km $63,000.00 $1,875.00
Shared paths 16 km $8,000.00 $500.00
Roads 15.5 km Nil Nil
Reserves 11.5 km $12,000.00 $1,043.00
Total 76.6 km $83,000.00 $1,083.00
Stage 2 (to be completed)
Trust managed trail (council grant funded) 58 km $94,000 to $108,750 $1,620 to $1,875
Roads 40 km Nil Nil
Total 98 km $94,000 – $108,750 $1,620 to $1,875

 

What is clear from the above table, is the hidden costs associated with extending the cycle trail. In particular the annual maintenance costs of any extension. The question that the community need to consider (and in particular those who live in Wakefield who want an extension) is whether the cost of maintaining any extension will provide a sufficient increase in income to afford the corresponding increase in targeted rates required to sustain the cycle ways upkeep. Further, any funding decisions will have to weigh up the competing importance of other projects (for example, storm water projects required to protect peoples homes and enable commercial and residential development).

If council is to commit to any extension of the cycle trail it will invariably have to commit to some form of investment in tourism if it is to ensure the community are able to get the necessary increase in income to pay the corresponding increase in rates. The alternative is to not proceed with any extensions until we can truly afford them.

Takaka Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Staff sought approval to develop construction drawings and specifications for an open market tender for the upgrade solution for the Takaka wastewater treatment plant. The total estimated cost of the work is $3.7 million and the work would be undertaken in a 6 stage approach to control budget risk. The upgrade would include constructing a floating wetlands, thus reducing the need for major civil works.

This is a substantial capital investment for Takaka and one residents of Takaka need to acknowledge is more important than any new recreation centre. Hard choices need to be made and council have to balance capital investment around the district. A danger is council over capitalise its investment in an area that does not have a lot of projected growth. The current economic environment requires that we be much wiser with where we spend our money. If we are prepared to sweat our roads, then surely the community should be willing to sweat the nice to have investments like recreation facilities. While I appreciate promises have been made by the past council, this council has to operate within a new economic reality (one perhaps the former council was not prepared to operate within) and prioritise expenditure. This means infrastructural expenditure must always come ahead of nice to have expenditure like recreational facilities. Its just common sense.

Pukekoikoi – Erosion Risk

The purpose of the report was to provide an update on the risk of a possible failure to a small section of the cut batter adjoining the Pa reserve site at Pukekoikoi caused by erosion. Staff advised that any failure would be limited and isolated, but that the risk did exist. Staff proposed to build a small clay bund directly onto the underlying clay soil re- covered with topsoil.

Murchison Stormwater – Neds Creek

Staff outlined flooding issues adjacent to Neds Creek, Murchison, potential solutions, indicative costs and proposed actions. A number of solutions were outlined. The recommended solution involved three stages of work at a cost of $2.9 million (excluding any land purchase). A final decision would be required as part of the forthcoming 2015-2025 Long Term Plan (LTP) storm water activity management plan.

Utilities Update

Staff reported that the overall stormwater network had been well maintained in February and that regular stormwater inspections had ensured adequate targeted clearence of debris prior to any forecasted heavy rain events. However, I note that the stormwater pipes (and ditches) along Bateups Road still require some attention.

Staff also reported on the waste collection and the impact on Eves valley landfill. The landfill will require further council consideration as it nears capacity (and the end of its useful life). Some useful tables and graphs on waste and landfill capacity are included in the agenda (pp 69 to 70).

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/engineering-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EngineeringServicesCommittee/2014/3April2014.