Ratepayers may have to foot flooding bill
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.