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Maintenance a long-term priority
22 May 2015

MAINTENANCE was a hot topic for residents during Kawerau District Council’s long-term plan submissions at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday.

The council considered 60 submissions and heard from nearly 20 people who spoke to theirs.

Three Kawerau Youth Council members began the day with their concerns about cracks in the surface of the town’s skate park on Plunket Street.

Youth council chairman Levi Whata said the cracks were becoming a safety issue, especially for young children.

“The skate park is a popular area for Kawerau youth and it should be a safe environment.

“The sooner this problem is fixed and maintained, the better.”

The group also asked for repairs to the surface of the nearby basketball court, and a wire fence around the area to prevent balls from rolling onto the road.

Stoneham Walk was the focus of recent improvements and regular walker John Rosanowski asked the council for solar-powered lights to make the area accessible for morning and evening walkers.

In his submission, Mr Rosanowski also asked for a rubbish bin along the walk.
Kawerau Senior’s Forum offered a written submission that “applauded” the proposed increased investment in footpath replacement by $22,000 to enable an additional 200 metres to be replaced each year.

“The extremely poor condition of many of our footpaths and kerbing is a major problem for both elderly and disabled residents,” the forum said.

A number of submitters suggested the council should implement bylaws to improve the condition of shop frontages through the council renovating or encouraging shop owners to improve verandas over footpaths.

Resident Ray Barton included a news article in his submission, which described a similar bylaw enforced in Wellington.

Kawerau Enterprise Agency chief executive Helen Stewart agreed with improvements to verandas and over the town’s footpaths.

One of the key proposals open for consultation was a $300,000 upgrade of the town centre, which included new seating, bollards, painting and improvement to steps.

Mrs Stewart supported this proposal but asked the council to ensure landlords were contributing a fair proportion of costs.

Submitter Morris Mitchell said the council should check for geothermal activity under the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre, town centre and Maurie Kjar Memorial swimming pool before worrying about applying a band-aid to the appearance of the town.

Submitter Ian Oram was opposed to an increase in the council’s uniform annual general charge said the project was “tarting up” the town’s centre which should not be a priority for the district.
Twelve other written submissions referenced the town centre upgrade, 10 in support of some or all of the proposed changes.
Two were opposed and cited the cost to ratepayers as the determining factor.

Graeme Ennis presented a submission about his concerns for Kawerau’s stormwater network.

The long-term plan proposed cleaning and inspection of the wastewater and stormwater networks, but

Mr Ennis suggested this funding would be better spent clearing debris that caused flooding.

 

Source: Whakatane Beacon

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