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Deliberations . . . Waimakariri's district councillors are continuing to meet in the Rangiora Town Hall while strengthening work continues on the Rangiora service centre building. Photo: David Hill

By David Hill

Covid-19 recovery projects, Southbrook infrastructure, reducing plastics and a new visitor strategy were all discussed at Tuesday’s Waimakariri District Council meeting.

Councillors signed off on $10.35 million worth of three waters projects over the next two years, which are subject to the government’s $8.02 stimulus funding allocated to the district.

The projects will now be included in next year’s 2021/31 Long Term Plan.

Projects include upgrades to the Poyntzs Rd water source, Fernside sewer, Loburn Lea sewer, West Eyreton and Summerhill storage, central Rangiora capacity and the Ohoka water storage, as well as Oxford sewer operational improvements, and water and sewer extensions at Tuahiwi.

Funding for the $18.13 million Kaiapoi stormwater and flooding improvements project was also signed off, with $9 million coming from the government’s “shovel ready” projects fund.

The bulk of the remaining $9.13 million will come from the Kaiapoi urban drainage fund, which will see a hike to the drainage rate for Kaiapoi ratepayers from $305 to $452 per property for the 2023/24 financial year.

“This is great for all of our community. When you put a plug down someone has to catch it and Kaiapoi is at the bottom of the bathtub,” Deputy Mayor Neville Atkinson said.

Councillors voted to bring forward funding set aside in the 2018/28 Long Term Plan to allow the park and ride projects in Kaiapoi and Rangiora to be completed on time for next year’s opening of the service.

Funding of $277,000 for Kaiapoi and $24,000 for Rangiora will be brought forward from the 2022/23 financial year.

A park and ride budget of $4 million was set aside in the 2018/28 Long Term Plan.

Senior engineering advisor Don Young informed councillors that the proposed 1.8 metre footpath on the eastern side of Flaxton Rd has gone out for tender, while the Flaxton / Fernside Rds roundabout project will go out for tender next week.

“We hope to have tenders lined up before Christmas so work on both projects can begin early next year.

“There will be quite a bit of disruption in the area for five to six months. Staff did give careful consideration to how the two projects would work together and it was decided it was better to get it all done at once.

“We will ensure that two-way traffic will be maintained at all times wherever possible.”

Councillors signed off on a new Waimakariri Visitor Marketing Strategy 2025, subject to minor amendments.

Business and centres advisor Vanessa Thompson said staff were working with Enterprise North Canterbury to develop themed maps to help market the district, including locating boutique shopping or walkways.

“It’s about linking those experiences into groups and giving reasons for people to visit.”

Councillors endorsed a council submission to the Ministry for the Environment on “reducing the impact of plastic on the environment”.