Bins, benches ‘could be lot cheaper’

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The high price of park benches and rub­bish bins is garbage, say some Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers.

Sev­eral mem­bers raised con­cerns at its March meet­ing about the cost of three rub­bish bins to be in­stalled at Blockhouse Bay Re­serve and two bins and four seats at East­dale Re­serve.

Bins at Blockhouse Bay Re­serve will cost $8981, while the East­dale Re­serve project will set ratepay­ers back $18,670.

The projects are among a num­ber of items funded out of the board’s small lo­cal im­prove­ments fund.

Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says the ex­pense of the projects is noth­ing new.

“We’ve com­plained in the past, but it seems to be the way it works. I think a lot of th­ese jobs could be done a lot cheaper.”

Mr Macdon­ald puts the high cost of the projects down to ex­tra fund­ing re­quired to deal with com­pli­ance costs.

“It’s a waste of ratepay­ers’ money, but it’s what they have to do.”

A cost break­down shows $2000 for a re­source con­sent at Blockhouse Bay Re­serve be­cause of un­sta­ble ground, and $3000 at East­dale Re­serve be­cause the project lies near a tree dripline.

A coun­cil spokes­woman ac­knowl­edges the coun­cil is tech­ni­cally mov­ing fund­ing from one area of its bud­get to an­other when it charges it­self for re­source con­sents.

But she says it is a way of show­ing the pub­lic that the coun­cil fol­lows the same pro­cesses as every­one else.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion and man­age­ment costs are fac­tored in – $1550 for the Blockhouse Bay Re­serve and $1395 for East­dale Re­serve.

Deputy mayor David Hay says pro­vid­ing items such as rub­bish bins and seats is core coun­cil busi­ness so there should be lit­tle vari­a­tion in price.

“They should be able to es­tab­lish a price down to the dol­lar. A price set is a price set.

“There is a feel­ing you need to get value for money.”

The board asked for a break­down of costs be­fore de­cid­ing whether to ap­prove both projects at its meet­ing last night.

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