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Chips stay on council's road resealing menu

Chips stay on council's road resealing menu

After extensive consultation including a 500-household telephone survey, the North Shore City Council has decided to develop a new and improved road resealing policy based on its current practice of chip seal for most roads, but hot mix for high stress areas, commercial and recreational roads and main roads carrying high volumes of traffic.

The new policy will be aimed at improving the performance of chip seal and responding to complaints about noise, loose chips and standards of workmanship. Included in the policy will be higher contract specifications and better supervision of the resealing process including · Using different combinations of chip sizes to minimise noise and loose chips · Having more sweeping and cleaning during the early days of chip seal life. This is generally the first two to four weeks after laying and loose chips are generated during this period. · Using improved binders incorporating the latest technological advances to ensure better adhesion and so minimising loose chips. · Stricter controls around contracting requirements · A high level of on-site supervision of contractors

The council has also decided that the "user pays" option for providing for a higher standard of seal will no longer be explicitly provided for and promoted when reseal projects are notified. The new policy will be finalised at the council's works and environment committee meeting on December 3. The new contracting arrangements and policy will be put in place from July 2003 and come into play for the resealing season that will begin around October 2003.

The council received 4,592 completed forms (e-mail and post) as a result of its city-wide consultation process, with leaflets delivered with community newspapers to all households and businesses in the city. A website was also set up with an interactive feedback form inviting people to e-mail their responses back.

The council also commissioned a representative telephone survey of 500 ratepayer households from an independent research company. Along with canvassing views on the policy options, those surveyed were also asked questions about spending priorities and road resealing satisfaction.

In the telephone survey, almost all North Shore City ratepayers interviewed (96 per cent) did not consider a new city-wide resealing policy to be the city's main priority for increased spending, with funding for improving beach water quality and traffic congestion being considered more appropriate reasons for rates increases.

The telephone survey showed 41 per cent wanted to see the current policy retained, while 36 per cent wanted to shift to hot mix only with a $48 rate increase. 22 per cent opted for something in-between. The general consultation results (4,592 forms were returned) showed similar results with 40.7% favouring the current policy, 7.6 per cent choosing the $22 policy option, 8.1 per cent choosing the $27 option and 42.9 per cent choosing the hot mix option. Further information and full reports on the consultation and telephone survey results are available on the council's website www.northshorecity.govt.nz

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