Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hastings council approves $8.7m loan to finish water project

Hastings District Council has today approved a $8.7million loan to finish work on a $90million drinking water network upgrade.

The Council said COVID-related contractual delays, supply chain issues, and inflationary cost increases for materials and services, meant additional funding was required to finish the project.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the reprioritisation of funds from within Council’s existing total capital projects budget represented 10% of the total cost of the single most significant capital works project in Hasting’s history.

“It’s been six years now since the Havelock North water crisis when our council made it our top priority to make our water safe. There’s been such a lot of progress since this work started in 2018/19, even despite the unavoidable and unforeseen consequences of an unprecedented global pandemic,” the Mayor said.

“Covid has made this project hugely challenging, not least facing logistical complications and cost escalations.

“We are close now to having an extensive network of upgraded drinking water treatment facilities and additional water storage reservoirs that are at the cutting edge of technology and will provide our city and wider district’s residents safe water, treated to the highest standard.

At today’s Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting, Council approved $8.7m in loan funding to be added to the current budget of $82m to finish the work in line with Council’s 2018 commitment to make safe drinking water its top priority.

“Our council is very proud that we are so close now to finishing the entire project. This reallocation of funds means we can get on and deliver on our commitment to the community in the most timely way possible,” said Mayor Hazlehurst.

She said significant progress has been made on all components of the overall drinking water network upgrade, due to be finished in July next year.

The Frimley water storage and treatment facility is now substantially completed and ready for testing and commissioning.

The pipes to transport water to and from Waiaroha, on the corner of Southampton and Hastings Sts, have been installed and one water reservoir has been built with the other 80 per cent complete. The water treatment plant is under construction, as is the Waiaroha education building and associated groundworks.

Of the small community upgrades, five treatment plants are complete and operating (Haumoana, Esk/Whirinaki, Waimārama, Te Pōhue, Clive), one is complete and in commissioning (Waipatiki) and one is being constructed and due to be finished in November this year (Whakatū), the Council said today.

Since the project began in 2019, other completed components of the work programme include a 4.2km-long Havelock North trunkmain, Havelock North booster station, and treatment upgrades at the Wilson Rd plant.

While the extra funding would be used across the project, the majority would be put towards completing the Waiaroha project, including the education building that will provide the community with a holistic and informed knowledge of the journey of water from the mountains to the sea, the Mayor confirmed.

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