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Wastewater network upgrade for Browns Bay

Wastewater network upgrade for Browns Bay to be decided February 10, 2003

North Shore City councillors are this week (tomorrow, February 11) expected to decide which wastewater network upgrade and storage option to pursue in Browns Bay, as part of Project CARE, the council's 20-year programme to improve beach water quality.

Three options were presented to East Coast Bays residents and businesses last November and December.

North Shore City's works and environment committee chairperson, Joel Cayford, says 14 options were investigated before three were selected for the public to consider.

"We have undertaken a wide consultation programme and have spoken to many individuals and groups in the community, including representatives of iwi," Councillor Cayford says.

"More than 8000 newsletters inviting the public to attend a meeting or view the video display to find out about the options, were delivered to homes in the East Coast Bays. Businesses were also visited and detailed information packs outlining each of the options were posted to interested individuals and groups."

Information and a feedback form were also available on the North Shore City Council web site www.northshorecity.govt.nz/waterinfo

Written and verbal feedback received on the options favoured option one, the large sewer, to upgrade the wastewater network and provide storage following heavy rain. This ranked ahead of building an underground storage tank either in the Esplanade Reserve or adjacent to the Browns Bay pumping station, near Browns Bay beach. With both the storage tank options the network upgrade would still need to be done in future years.

North Shore City's water services general manager, Geoff Mason, says 48 of the 59 written responses received during the consultation supported option one.

Reasons given by the public included: 'do all the work at once'; 'avoid storage tanks'; 'best long-term solution'; and 'less disruption', Mr Mason says.

"While the large sewer has received public support, it will cost more than the storage tank options. Funding allocated in the long term financial plan for the sewer network upgrade in future years will need to be brought forward and the shortfall met by deferring projects that are still in the investigation stages and are less urgent," he says.

Councillors will review the results of the consultation and are expected to reach a decision at tomorrow's works and environment committee meeting. A decision in favour of the large sewer would clear the way for planning to continue, with an expected project start date of later this year or early 2004. The project is expected to take up to 18 months to complete.

Joel Cayford says North Shore City Council is happy to hear from any businesses or residents with concerns, with a view to reducing inconvenience that may result from the work.

"Early planning is under way to minimise the impact of construction on the community and everything possible will be done to maintain access to all homes and business premises at all times.

"We appreciate that the commercial viability of the Browns Bay Centre is important to business owners and operators, and the community as a whole. Our policy is to maintain an open door to those concerned, with a view to resolving any difficulties before the project begins.

"We anticipate releasing a newsletter updating the community on the council's decision in the near future," Councillor Cayford says.

Members of the public are invited to call North Shore City Actionline on 486 8600 if they have any concerns or would like more information on the Browns Bay wastewater network and storage upgrade programme.

(ends)

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