Lake users in the dark on upgrade
Completion of Lake Moana-Nui Reserve’s million dollar upgrade is in sight but the end of its money draining is not.
Every five to seven years the newly constructed silt trap will need clearing at an estimated $50 to $100,000 a pop.
Maintenance of the popular reserve will continue to cost ratepayers $ 75,000 annually and some avid lake users have been left in the dark on what is happening.
Fishing club members Butch Bisley and Tony Baldwin were selected on the lake’s steering committee designed to put forward suggestions leading up to the expensive upgrade.
But Bisley, club president, said plans changed without their knowledge which left him bewildered.
‘‘ We need to understand protocols and workings of council because we don’t know,’’ he said.
The appointment of Bisley and Baldwin, club secretary, came after the club’s 2011 submission to the council.
Fish and Game helps the club put ‘‘hundreds’’ of fish in the lake each year and it is not just fishing knowledge they have to offer.
‘‘We’re not just concerned with fish, our whole thing with the lake is the silt control, the weed control, the depths of the lake,’’ he said. One major decision made without consultation was the removal of the jetty.
Bisley said it was a vital asset for the club to access the valve to control lake levels.
‘‘ We looked at the [ amended] plans and said ‘where’s the jetty?’.’’
‘‘When we say something there what happens to it?...Decisions at the meetings seem to be overturned by somebody,’’ he said.
Committee chairman Alan Blair believed the group had been running smoothly.
Despite apparent communi- cation issues Blair said it was because they did not need to go to the committee.
‘‘ I am unaware of any members that are representing community groups that have civil engineering qualifications that would assist to the dam repair,’’ he said.
He said the committee’s purpose was to bring together ‘‘interested parties’’.
Committee member and spokesperson Kerry Fabrie said the steering committee had no power.
‘‘ The committee provides guidance and discussion, the council is the decision making authority,’’ she said.
Fabrie said due to the increased cost ‘‘ several times’’ it was then decided the jetty could go.
But that decision changed after Bissley spoke up.
‘‘ Advice from the Fishing Club was that it was necessary and the club was not happy about the jetty not being reinstated so council made the decision to reinstall it,’’ she said. The upgrades are expected to be complete by the end of September.
Almost there: Lake Moana-Nui is almost finished with the sluice overflow lid being put on.
Needed improvement: Lake Moana-Nui in 2013 before it was emptied for the upgrades.