No work on footpaths
For the first time in many years, Te Puke Community Board has a budget for new footpaths.
However, translating that into safe walkways is proving to be frustratingly slow.
After agreeing the number one priority would be a footpath along Station Rd, it could be up to two years before it is completed.
Costs have come in at $88,000, but contractors Westlink have requested work be put off until the 2019-20 financial year to allow the work to be done at the same time as scheduled road rehabilitation.
Board member Bev Button said she would prefer if the footpath were put in now and the roadwork done later.
“There are children and parents with pushchairs [using the road]. We’ve been waiting two years — it’s ridiculous,” she said.
Chairman Peter Miller said the danger then would be that the new footpath would be damaged.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council roading engineer Stuart Harvey said that was one of several reasons for delaying the footpath work.
He said there was also likely to be cost saving with the road and footpath work being done at the same time.
Councillor John Scrimgeour said he understood concerns about the delay.
“I support getting the best value for money,” he said.
Councillor Grant Dally said he was concerned because there had been no footpaths constructed so far during the current triennium.
“And we are in danger of not doing any.”
Chairman Peter Miller pointed out that until this year there had been no budget for new footpaths, as the allocated money was committed to repaying loans from the 2002 main street upgrade and construction of the Heritage Walkway, and that had limited footpath work to repairs only.
Grant for EPIC
An application for a grant of $500 by Te Puke Events and Promotions (EPIC) to assist with the cost of traffic management of October’s Te Puke Treat trail was approved.
Councillor Grant Dally suggested the amount be doubled, but the suggestion received little traction.
“I can’t remember a [grant] request coming to the board and being increased,” chairman Peter Miller.
Board member Joan Dugmore said traffic management at the event last year was a “real disaster” and she didn’t like the idea of the promotion in the middle of town because of traffic issues.
“Has any thought been given to having it in the park?” she asked.
Chairman Peter Miller said EPIC had reacted to complaints last year with proper traffic management for this year’s event.
Councillor John Scrimgeour said he understood board member Dugmore’s concerns.
“But the reality is, if we want people to come to town, we have to give them a reason.”
An application for a grant by Karyl Gunn-Thomas to assist with launch of her book, My Story, any profits from which would go to the It’s Not OK campaign, was turned down as not fitting the criteria for community board grant funding.