$7.3m for pipes across bridge
The Queenstown Lakes District Council will spend $7.3 million on a new wastewater and water main pipelines that were projected to cost $1m.
The new budget for the controversial funding was set in secret, after the public were excluded from a meeting on Thursday afternoon.
It follows an uproar in January when the council reluctantly agreed to spend $5.3m on the project, which will span the new Kawarau Falls Bridge.
At that time mayor Jim Boult said he was concerned at the cost: ‘‘I’d hate to think we’re picking up the cost of overspend elsewhere.’’
In a press release on Thursday afternoon he said the increase in costs was smart investment.
‘‘This pipeline is a critical piece of infrastructure. We’re playing catch up in our infrastructure investment and we have to get ahead of the game. The reality is that we need to right size our critical infrastructure investment.’’
He said the cost included pipe work between the original bridge and new subdivision Hanley Downs.
‘‘Common sense says there isn’t much point installing a pipe that finishes in the middle of a very busy road, only to have to dig it up to connect it at a later date.’’
Council would be able to recover some of the cost of the upgrade through development contributions.
The Kawarau Falls Bridge under construction in Queenstown.