19 September 2017
This evening (Tuesday 19 September) Mayor Tim Cadogan addressed the Alexandra Rotary Club with the annual Mayoral "State Of The Nation" speech. Mayor Tim used this opportunity to take stock after the completion of almost the first year of his first term and to start conversations with the Central Otago community moving forward.
The speech started with a look at building consent figures for the Vincent Community Board and Central Otago District Council in general for the April to June 2017 quarter. These showed significant increases over the same period two years ago, with CODC showing a 238% increase in overall figures and a 282% increase in the dollar value of new dwelling consents being issued. The Vincent area showed a 291% increase in the value of all building consents and a staggering 500% increase in new dwelling consents issued.
Mayor Tim took the opportunity to start some very important conversations with the community in relation to opportunities that need to be discussed and consulted on.
The first is in relation to Clyde sewerage. Clyde is one of the largest towns in New Zealand that does not have reticulated sewerage; a situation that Mayor Tim says cannot continue.
"The simple fact of the matter is that the Council will be forced by the Otago Regional Council and/or the Government at some stage to face the sewerage situation in Clyde, and that the day of reckoning will be coming sooner rather than later. National water policy standards and regional urban water discharge standards will force the issue. On top of that, the lack of a proper system puts significant restraints on Clyde's ability to grow commercially or residentially."
The cost of creating a system for Clyde is estimated at around $34,000,000, which Mayor Tim describes as a "staggering amount of money". However, investigations have shown that a lower cost option may be available, using an expanded Alexandra plant and taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the Lake Dunstan Water Supply pipeline taking water from Clyde to Alexandra.
"It is common sense that there are significant savings to be made by putting a second pipe in the ground at the same time as the water pipe is put in. If this course of action is taken, a staged implementation of reticulated sewerage in Clyde could see the commercial and older area of the township off septic tanks within three to five years.
"A second phase of implementation would cover all but the newer parts of Clyde within 12-15 years with the final part, being the parts of Clyde with modern septic tank systems such as Sunderland Estate and the north-west side of Shield Street, being completed within 28 years. This allows the community to address the high use, high risk areas first while staggering the cost of the total project. The total cost will be lower with the amount of time taken to complete the scheme stretched out."
Cost estimates are for stage one to cost $12,000,000, stage two the same amount and the final stage costing another $5,000,000. (See diagram 1 below).
Having a water and sewerage pipeline running between Clyde and Alexandra also allows the community to consider the options this opens up in terms of growth of residential zoned land between the two towns as part of next year's District Plan review.
The second conversation that has been started with the community through Mayor Tim's speech was in relation to the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery building. Council was asked to take over the ownership of the building by the building Trustees and the ownership now lies with Council. Mayor Tim says that the taking over of the ownership was the only sensible course of action once the financial situation of the Trust was made known to Council.
"The Trustees had made a good fist of the impossible task of maintaining the building with a relatively small reserve fund and extremely limited funding options available to them. The Trustees could have handed a very dilapidated building to the Council in 2025 at the ending of the land lease or, as they did, take the responsible path of using what funds remained to deal with deferred maintenance on the building alongside giving on-going responsibility to the Council.
"The community now needs to have a conversation about whether the same business structure will stay in place for the building or whether other options need to be explored. These options are whether to treat the building as a blank canvas, whether to keep some or all of the current components of the building and whether to introduce new elements into the building. These new elements could include consideration of using part of the building for display of the Eden Hore Fashion Collection or consideration of using part of the building for the Alexandra Library instead of the refurbishment of the existing library currently planned. We can all be rest assured though that nothing will happen without significant consultation with the community."
Prior to the State of the Nation address Mayor Tim met with Clyde business owners to advise them of the sewerage option. At the same meeting, Mayor Tim raised the preliminary results of consultations held with a planning group in Clyde for the regeneration of the commercial area and how to deal with parking issues in the peak season in the town. A preferred option of turning Lodge Lane into a shared vehicle/pedestrian space was discussed with the businesses. Mayor Tim said that having the connecting lane between the two main commercial streets of Clyde turned into an Italian Piazza-type area was very attractive to the working group.
In addition to the Lodge Lane development, consideration is being given to extending lower Miners Lane that connects Sunderland Street to the river through to Matau Street just above the Clyde Bridge and making the lane one-way. This would open up large areas of long-term parking in Clyde and could include a walkway from the parking area directly up to the township. Consideration is also being given to creating some areas of angle parking in Clyde to allow for increasing numbers of visitors. (See diagram 2 below).
Mayor Tim said that, as much of the pressure that is being put on Clyde roading is as a result of the tourist boom, it is envisaged that application will be made to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund for significant assistance in meeting the costs of the developments.