$7.3m for pipes across bridge

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

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.

MCCONNELL DOWELL

The Kawa­rau Falls Bridge un­der con­struc­tion in Queen­stown.

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