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David Ogilvie makes recommendations to Community Board

June 11th

Motueka Community Board chairman David Ogilvie will table a report and a list of recommendations on several contentious issues at next Tuesday's monthly board meeting.

1. Opposition to targeted rates

Clause 45 of the proposed Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill clarifies the law to allow councils to fund community boards through targeted rates. This proposal is contrary to the recommendation promoted by the Local Government Commission. Submissions on the Amendment Bill close on June 18. The Golden Bay Community Board is proposing to make a submission, and David recommends that Motueka should do likewise.

If the bill goes ahead, Tasman District Council will be able to charge Motueka residents an extra rate used to pay for the administration of the community board, basically for the charge-out rates for TDC staff time spent on board matters. These staff are employed regardless of whether there are community boards or not.

2. The Community Firewood Project

Due to changes in funding criteria, the Conservation Plan course at ATET is winding up and being replaced with a new course which will not focus on conservation training. The ATET students and staff have done great work chopping up unwanted orchard trees for distribution to low income families.

The firewood project has received a lot of support from community groups and individuals who have expressed offers of practical support to keep the scheme running. David asks how it will continue without the wood choppers at ATET. He asks board to discuss the future of this project.

3. A Cycle lane in High Street

David recommends that the community board request the Engineering Services Department of Tasman District Council to mark a cycle lane from the Woodland Avenue corner of High Street south to Monahan Street. Also that the eastern footpath, which is 4m wide, be adapted as a marked, shared pathway, with the cycle lane to be 1.5m from the carriageway kerb and the remainder of the footpath (2.5m) from the residential boundary lines. He recommends this project be completed by September 30th.

He notes that the existing footpath is very wide on this part of High Street and it could become a shared pathway effectively. Moreover, the High Street carriageway along this section is narrow and cycling becomes hazardous, particularly if there are parked cars.

The cost would be minimal - about $5,000 - but the safety factors considerable. It would involve a white line, some stencil markings and appropriate signs.

4. Opening up the Peach Island Channel

David recommends that the community board request the Engineering Services Department to "open up" the Peach Island western channel, as part of this year's annual operations and maintenance program for the Lower Motueka River.

He points out that at the various meetings for the Lower Motueka River Flood Control, both local residents and engineers acknowledged that the existing stopbank was weakest and under most pressure between Woodman's Corner and Whakarewa Street, during the river's highs. It was it also acknowledged that opening up the western channel of Peach Island would reduce this pressure significantly and consequently lessen considerably the threat of flooding in Motueka.

Until now, any discussion on work such as this has been focused on the 10-year plan and therefore capital funding, but David is sure that this work could be funded from the river rates collected from Motueka ratepayers, as part of the maintenance programme already budgeted.

5. Pedestrian crossing from New World to The Warehouse in High Street

David says that the community board should request that he NZ Transport Agency to construct a pedestrian crossing in High Street from New World to the warehouse That, to be completed by November 30th, prior to the Christmas holiday period.

This acknowledges the increasing number of pedestrians to cross High Street at this location, putting themselves in danger by jaywalking. A pedestrian crossing at this mid-block point would also reduce the dangers of people, especially high school students, crossing at the Woodland Avenue / Whakarewa Street intersection.

If NZTA continues to insist that there will only ever be three pedestrian crossings in the shopping precinct, then the one beside Greenwood Street should be removed and traffic lights installed at that intersection instead.

6. Mobile scooter and pram ramps

David recommends that the community board requests the Engineering Services Department to construct a minimum of six mobile scooter/pram ramps during this financial year, and that a further six ramps be constructed, if funding allows, no later than 2011 - 2012.

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