Lake makeover costs jump
Construction costs at Lake Moana-nui have been blown out of the water with the total expected to exceed $1 million.
Tokoroa’s 49-year-old lake has been undergoing dramatic improvements since last year but the cost keeps escalating.
Unexpected hurdles bumped up the original $629,000 to $982,000 in March this year but more discoveries have led to another potential increase of $82,000.
General manager of assets Ted Andersen said the main problem was found underground.
‘‘The depth below the silt was a lot deeper than we thought,’’ he said.
This meant more excavation was needed.
Other issues which could bump up the price were staffing, resource consent costs and excavation material control.
Andersen said there are always risks when working underground.
‘‘A lot of the problem was that you do not see what you are dealing with until you get in there and do it.’’
Deputy mayor Jenny Shattock was skeptical about how the extra cost would be sourced.
‘‘Where is that money coming from? Or are we just going to go into debt in that account until it recovered it from the rates next year? I know we’ve got to do it because we’re so far through it,’’ she said.
But deputy chief executive Ben Smit said it would not affect future rates, but it could mean a different council project would get the chop.
Andersen said total costs would not be confirmed until six weeks time.
‘‘We haven’t overspent, we are still under budget, this is the potential costs,’’ he said.
Andersen said the increase would add to the total which will be taken from a loan fund and paid off over time.
The July completion date may also be extended to mid-August.
Councillor Terry Magill said he was in full support but was worried about future maintenance.
‘‘One of my concerns was that in the past the plantings had not been looked after very well.
‘‘I would hate to think we would spend $1 million and have more beautification only to find these plantings aren’t looked after,’’ he said.
Andersen said the lake steering committee would create a ‘‘friends of the lake group’’ to take care of it.
He said it would be run by volunteers and running costs would be paid for by the council.
‘‘If we could get that set up we could get the community to take ownership of the lake.
‘‘We want to break that barrier that it is the council’s, it is the community’s,’’ Andersen said.