Bins, benches ‘could be lot cheaper’
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.