POOL'S ECO-UPGRADE IMPRESSES GOVT
Updated: Mar 24
Cromwell looks set to lead the way in eco-friendly pool heating systems after final funding was approved this month for a water-sourced heat pump.
Central Otago District Council parks and recreation manager, Gordon Bailey, told the Cromwell Community Board that the system was needed to replace an aging LPG plant. Due to it's innovative nature and 'green' credentials the new system had attracted the attention of the government’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority(EECA), who may contribute funding. The Community Board agreed to allocate the full amount to undertake the work while an application to EECA was pending.
The board had already allocated $930,000 for the project and agreed to allocate a further $162,000 needed after an updated estimate. The pool would need to be closed for around 6 weeks when work begins but no dates had been set.
Meanwhile people are being encouraged to utilise and support the Cromwell facility especially during quiet lunchtimes. Aqua classes for older residents and a creche service to allow swim sessions for parents of young children were two initiatives being discussed to boost patronage.
Pool Team Leader Bill Godsall told the board that recent survey results from customers had been very encouraging.
“We’ve had good feedback that people think the pool is very clean, the staff are welcoming and people feel safe. There is a great facility there and we should all be using it.”
He said sponsorship had been secured from local businesses for 44 children to have swimming lessons and these would be allocated to help local families.
$3.8M plus land for Masterplan Property
All sections in the 78-lot Gair Avenue subdivision are now sold which will give the Cromwell Ward a boost in funds, the Cromwell Community Board were told at their meeting last week. The development is a joint venture between the Central Otago District Council and Queenstown-based developer AC/JV Holdings.
Cromwell has around $20M in its reserve funds and this was predicted to grow to around $26M by the end of the 2020/2021 financial year due to proceeds from the sales.
Meanwhile the purchase of three properties on Murray Terrace in December last year cost the Cromwell ward $3.8M plus a land exchange, leading to an “unfavourable variance” in capital expenditure in it’s six-monthly financial report.
Specific plans for the land purchased had not been made, executive manager of corporate services, Leanne Macdonald said after the meeting.
“There are no developed plans at this stage, but it will contribute to outcomes of the Cromwell MasterPlan.”
Fees Widely Kept Down
Very few council fees and charges will be raised in the coming year, according to a new report. Almost all fees associated with planning, swimming pools, parks and cemeteries will remain unchanged with only applications for District Plan changes seeing a noticeable increase. These currently range from $1000 to $10,000 and will change to $2500 to $15,000.
New Roundabout for Problem Intersection
Work will begin in spring on an $8M roundabout at the intersection of State Highways 6 and 8B near Nichols Garden Centre.
The single-lane roundabout had been on the radar for some time due to the number of serious injury crashes occurring there. The upgrade was proceeding earlier than expected as one of the government’s Covid-19 response “Shovel Ready’ projects.
WSP infrastructure company’s senior transport engineer, Richard Hilliard, said the design allowed for dual lanes to be added later. Modelling had predicted this may not be needed until 2040.
Asked by board member Nigel McKinlay how the roundabout would be illuminated, Mr Hilliard said it would be “well lit” by LEDs but up-lighting was minimal and no ‘dark sky’ issues were expected. Private and council reserve land bordering the intersection would be requisitioned under the Public Works Act by the New Zealand Transport Agency. Construction is expected to take four to six months and be completed in early 2022.
St John Must Pay Consent Fee
A request that payment for processing a building consent for a charity house project be waived was rejected by the Cromwell Community Board.
Doreen Evans speaking for Cromwell’s Rotary and Lions Clubs said a house was to be built and sold with all proceeds going the new St John Station currently under construction. During the meeting’s public forum she told the board five building companies had committed to the work and many donations of materials secured. The organisations had been amazed by the community support.
Board chair Anna Harrison said they were unable to waive fees and charges as structures set out in the Long Term Plan had to be adhered to. She suggested pursuing a grant instead and was advised an application had already been submitted.
This report was contributed by Connect Cromwell as part of our public-interest journalism project. Agendas and minutes from these meetings are available online: Meetings - Central Otago District Council (codc.govt.nz). The public is permitted to attend the meetings in the public gallery but not contribute, other than by arrangement in the 'public forum' session at the start of each meeting.