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Community Board final meeting for 2009

December 12th, 2009
By David Armstrong

The Motueka Community Board will urge the Tasman District Council to complete several bread-and-butter works programmes that have been hanging around for too long.

As part of its submission to the Council on the draft Annual Plan for 2010 - 2011, the Board held a public forum last week to signal its priority list for improvements in the Motueka ward and to hear feedback from ratepayers.

Only three people attended the meeting, but they heard of the Board's determination to see top movement on long-standing, lower-cost issues including cycleways, footpaths, kerbs and channelling, and pram and mobility scooter crossings.

They also will press the need for income raised within the ward to be largely spent within the ward. They reported that at present only about 60 percent of revenue from rates paid by Motueka residents came back into the ward.

Two major issues discussed at the forum were water reticulation and flood protection. The Council will be urged to ensure all planning and decision-making about raising the Motueka River stopbanks is done thoroughly and realistically, given the large financial burden such a project would place on ratepayers.

Of great interest will be the results of two planning processes vital to most town dwellers - the Transportation Plan and the Motueka Central and West planning strategy.

The Transportation Plan is looking at ways of reducing congestion and improving traffic flow through the town while maintaining or enhancing the safety of residents. Board chairman David Ogilvie said decisions are in the pipeline to relocate some or all of the three High Street pedestrian crossings, but work continues on choosing the best option for a town bypass.

The Motueka Central and West plan, initiated for consultation early this year, has been on the back burner while the Transportation Plan was worked through, but will now proceed with serious drafting through next year. This, however, will also interact with plans for water reticulation, concerns about water abstraction from aquifers, and the Coastal Tasman pipeline.

Other items on the Community Board's priority list for next year include the Riwaka to Kaiteriteri road upgrade, improvements to the Motueka Oxidation Ponds, further work on stormwater drainage and channels, fundraising for the swimming pool, dealing with freedom camping, and ongoing development of the Port Motueka / North Street / Coastal foreshore area.

Plans for the extension or rebuilding of the Motueka Library to bring it up to the size appropriate for the population it serves is being moved up the priority list.

David Ogilvie was disappointed at the small turnout at the meeting, given that so many important issues were discussed and information provided.

"It would've been nice to have seen more expression of interest," he said. "But it's different when we have meetings on specific issues, such as the recent one on freedom camping. They can fill the room."

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