Marlborough Recovery: Infrastructure To Lead The Way
Marlborough District Council has a key role to play in countering and recovering from the serious economic effects of the international COVID-19 crisis.
Mayor John Leggett says its key focus is on delivering its planned infrastructure projects.
“Our engineers, design consultants and project managers are doing everything they can to get these projects under construction,” he says.
“The Council’s large capital programme will provide significant opportunities and downstream expenditure for local contractors and builders.”
“To keep the economy moving and prepare us for recovery once the lockdown period is over, we are increasing our strong focus on capital expenditure projects. These projects are all budgeted for and have no impact on rates.”
“For 2020-21 we will finance over $60 million of capital expenditure, with similar amounts over each of the next three years. There are also some big projects and several smaller ones budgeted in 2019-20 going out to tender in the next few months, totalling close to $40 million.”
The capital projects to be delivered between now and 2024 include:
- District Library/Art Gallery, Blenheim: $19.5m (construction expected to start in 2020)
- Reserves, including completion of Lansdowne Park Sports Hub and sand-based surface ($6m, 2020)
- Roading renewals and minor improvements – including sealed road resurfacing, seal widening, intersection improvements, bridge renewals, jetty replacement: $33.3m ($12m in 2020)
- Flood Protection, including stop banks and drains improvements: $16.4m
- Riverlands sewer treatment plant $23.4m
- Picton sewerage – including pipeline (Waikawa), pump station and treatment plant upgrades $14m ($2m in 2020)
- Havelock sewerage – treatment plant $7.4m
- Blenheim sewerage – including pipeline and pump station upgrades $42.9m ($23m starting in 2020)
- Blenheim stormwater – including Redwood Street, Muller Road and Murphys Creek $11m (some underway, further work to commence 2020)
- Havelock water – treatment plant and reservoir $6.4m
- Picton water – including Essons Treatment Plant, Speeds pipeline and metering $10.3m
- Renwick water – treatment plant $8.9m
- Riverlands water – treatment plant $7.1m
- Solid Waste – additional stages for the Bluegums landfill $12.6m
- Flaxbourne Irrigation Scheme $14.2m (starting in 2020).
“These projects will help us meet the demands for future growth in Marlborough and provide a much needed boost to the region’s economy.”
Chief Executive Mark Wheeler says Council staff are working very hard to help Marlborough’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Planning is already underway to assist our region’s economic recovery post-COVID-19. We will focus on prioritising where the Council can make a difference. We’re working in close cooperation with central government, iwi, Marlborough business and employers groups, and we want to make sure we have the regional data and information we need to make the best decisions for the long term for Marlborough. An Economic Action Group will be formed this week and inform and consult a wider Industry Advisory Group on its actions.”
“This economic recovery structure will initially focus on information gathering, business support services, workforce redeployment, recruitment, training and identifying further infrastructure investment. Along with the Chamber of Commerce and Business Trust Marlborough we’ll be ensuring that Marlborough businesses get all the government assistance they deserve.”
“Right now, we’re working with the Government preparing details on ‘shovel-ready’ projects here in Marlborough that could benefit from Government support. We’re meeting weekly with agencies, iwi and industry sector groups to share information so we can plan our recovery together. Discussions have already been had with local civil contractors so that they are prepared for a lot of work coming to the market very soon.”
$1.2 million was set aside to help community organisations and facilities such as Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 to remain viable. Those funds come from the Council’s Emergency Events Reserve.
More economic recovery proposals are being developed so that Marlborough is ready to go post the COVID-19 lockdown.