Otago Daily Times

Ques­tion of creek own­er­ship

- RICHARD DAV­I­SON richard.dav­i­son@odt.co.nz Airbnb · Stantec · Lismore, MN

FLOOD­AF­FECTED Lawrence home­own­ers could face a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion next year re­gard­ing re­me­dial works on their prop­er­ties.

Sev­eral prop­er­ties ad­join­ing the town’s Hos­pi­tal Creek were flooded dur­ing a se­vere down­pour in July 2017, which left the town cen­tre un­der about half a me­tre of wa­ter.

A sec­ond, less se­vere event in Novem­ber 2018 re­in­forced the need for a sig­nif­i­cant pro­gramme of works from the Clutha District Coun­cil to ad­dress dam­aged cul­verts and blocked wa­ter­courses.

Since that time, coun­cil con­trac­tors have cleared most of the town’s stormwa­ter drains, and re­paired or re­placed sev­eral cul­verts.

How­ever, work on Hos­pi­tal Creek has been ham­pered by ques­tions re­gard­ing own­er­ship of the stream, which runs through about 15 pri­vate gar­dens.

In a re­port to the most re­cent Lawrence Tuapeka Com­mu­nity Board meet­ing, coun­cil ser­vice de­liv­ery group man­ager Jules Witt ex­plained home­own­ers had two main op­tions re­gard­ing fu­ture own­er­ship and main­te­nance of the creek.

These would be can­vassed pub­licly dur­ing next year’s long­term plan con­sul­ta­tion.

Mr Witt said either the coun­cil could adopt the creek — mean­ing it would re­quire per­ma­nent ac­cess through home­own­ers’ prop­er­ties — or in­di­vid­ual home­own­ers could remain re­spon­si­ble for their re­spec­tive sec­tions, and as­so­ci­ated costs.

‘‘Our re­port from Stan­tec sug­gests a rough or­der of costs of $362,000 plus GST to ad­dress known is­sues, and af­fected par­ties and the wider Clutha com­mu­nity need to have their say on how that should be paid for, and what the best way is to en­sure the en­dur­ing ef­fec­tive­ness of the creek as a stormwa­ter chan­nel.

‘‘We’d like peo­ple to be­gin think­ing about these things now so they can make an in­formed de­ci­sion next year.’’

Were the coun­cil to adopt the creek, pol­icy dic­tated as­so­ci­ated costs would be spread across the whole district un­der the stormwa­ter rate.

Pick­led Pi­geon Cot­tage Airbnb owner Penny Archer, who owns a Lis­more St prop­erty ad­join­ing the creek, said both op­tions had pros and cons.

‘‘If it re­mains in pri­vate own­er­ship, it only takes one per­son not main­tain­ing the creek prop­erly to af­fect ev­ery­one down­stream. But if coun­cil adopts it, those not di­rectly af­fected could ar­gue they shouldn’t have to pay for what could be con­sid­ered a pri­vate is­sue.

‘‘But given these ex­treme [flood] events are be­com­ing more com­mon, on bal­ance I think it needs the over­ar­ch­ing ap­proach of an of­fi­cial body like coun­cil.’’

The coun­cil would con­tact af­fected par­ties with more in­for­ma­tion shortly, Mr Witt said.

 ??  ??
 ?? PHO­TOS: RICHARD DAV­I­SON ?? Flood mea­sure . . . A new cul­vert chan­nelling the flood­prone Hos­pi­tal Creek runs be­neath Camp­bel­ton St in Lawrence. Inset: This con­crete block was among de­bris washed down Hos­pi­tal Creek dur­ing a se­vere flood in July 2017.
PHO­TOS: RICHARD DAV­I­SON Flood mea­sure . . . A new cul­vert chan­nelling the flood­prone Hos­pi­tal Creek runs be­neath Camp­bel­ton St in Lawrence. Inset: This con­crete block was among de­bris washed down Hos­pi­tal Creek dur­ing a se­vere flood in July 2017.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand