Ratepay­ers may have to foot flood­ing bill

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua ratepay­ers could be $100,000 out of pocket af­ter a so­lu­tion to the Maraeroa School flood­ing was pro­posed last week.

A re­port to Porirua City Coun­cil’s com­mit­tee on Thurs­day said a work­ing group had been es­tab­lished be­tween the coun­cil and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

It will as­sess im­me­di­ate and long-term re­lief of the flood­ing at Maraeroa School – which has in­curred $180,000 worth of dam­age since 2011 – and sur­round­ing properties.

The coun­cil ad­mit­ted last month that it con­sented to an il­le­gal con­nec­tion be­tween Porirua Col­lege’s stormwa­ter pipe and Driver Cres in 2008.

The work­ing group had iden­ti­fied sev­eral op­tions to man­age the stormwa­ter flows at Porirua Col­lege, coun­cil gen­eral man­ager of as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions Peter Bai­ley said.

Meet­ings be­tween the work­ing group and en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tants would take place in the com­ing weeks, he said.

A pro­vi­sional sum of $100,000 has been al­lo­cated by the coun­cil to re­di­rect the stormwa­ter into Can­nons Creek Lake.

Al­though that sum has been bud­geted in the 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year, Mr Bai­ley said he hoped any up­grades could oc­cur in the next 12 months.

Maraeroa School prin­ci­pal Ali Stock­well said it was a re­lief to hear of the bud­get al­lo­ca­tion.

‘‘ It’s great to see that the coun­cil has recog­nised there is a prob­lem and it’s be­ing ad­dressed,’’ Mr Stock­well said.

‘‘There ap­pears to be bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the min­istry and the coun­cil, which is what is needed.’’

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said there was ‘‘room to move’’ in fu­ture long-term coun­cil plans to pay for the Maraeroa School re­pairs.

Mr Leggett wanted to know why Porirua City Coun­cil was the ‘‘finder and fixer’’ if the prob­lem was on Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion land.

‘‘So, be­cause we con­sent to the wa­ter go­ing into the net­work, and it causes prob­lems, are we li­able for the so­lu­tion?’’ Mr Leggett asked.

Mr Bai­ley said it was more im­por­tant a so­lu­tion was found, and the dis­cus­sion over who pays could come later.

‘‘Th­ese mat­ters are not black and white, but if the wa­ter is in our net­work, we have re­spon­si­bil­ity.’’

Stormwa­ter projects around Porirua in the next year will cost $683,000.

The projects in­clude up­grad­ing Na­tone Park and War­spite Ave drainage pipes, a pipe from Herewini St to Thornley St in Ti­tahi Bay and work in Pukaki Grove, Wai­tan­girua.

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