Lake silt vol­umes blows out budget

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Bud­geted ex­pen­di­ture on restor­ing Lake Moana-nui has blown out to al­most $1 mil­lion af­ter a few un­ex­pected hur­dles.

The project, which has had a few de­lays in­clud­ing the pro­cess­ing of re­source con­sents, will be com­plete by July.

The es­ti­mated cost of the up­grade has in­creased to $980,000 from the orig­i­nal $ 630,000 fol­low­ing an un­ex­pect­edly large vol­ume of ac­cu­mu­lated silt found when the lake was com­pletely emp­tied.

As a re­sult of this cost in­crease, the project went back to the South Waikato District Coun­cil for fur­ther dis­cus­sion.

Three op­tions were avail­able to coun­cil:

Do­ing the job prop­erly with the in­creased price tag of $980,000.

Not do­ing the lake restora­tion project. In­stead do­ing land­scap­ing and shap­ing to re­turn the area to a grass re­serve with a stream at a cost of $700,000.

Do­ing only part of the work to re­main within the ini­tial cost es­ti­mate of $630,000. How­ever, be­cause of the vol­ume of silt need­ing to be re­moved, this would not have given a sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said the coun­cil has cho­sen the most ex­pen­sive op­tion be­cause it knows the value and im­por­tance of the lake to the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We ac­knowl­edge the com­mu­nity’s sup­port and pa­tience,’’ he said. ‘‘We too are look­ing for­ward to see­ing Lake Moana-nui re­turn to its for­mer glory.’’

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