Media release

Public to be updated on flood and drainage schemes work

Friday 17 April 2015

Taieri and Clutha residents will have an opportunity next week to be updated by the Otago Regional Council on developments to flood protection and drainage schemes in their areas.

Two public meetings are planned – one at the War Memorial Hall in Balclutha on Tuesday (April 21) and the other on Thursday (April 23) at the Coronation Hall, Mosgiel. Both meetings are at 7pm.

ORC director engineering, hazards, and science Gavin Palmer said the meetings would discuss with residents projects included in ORC’s draft 2015-25 Long Term Plan for their flood protection and drainage schemes.

The Clutha and Taieri flood protection and drainage schemes provide a level of flood protection for properties in flood-prone areas and the drainage schemes improve land productivity.

ORC staff will also explain how these schemes work and the level of service that can realistically be expected from them.

Otago’s flood protection and drainage schemes make up 18 percent of ORC’s total spend.

The council is currently consulting on its 2015-2025 Long Term Plan and Dr Palmer said next week’s meetings would outline planned spending in the LTP on major capital items over the next 10 years relating to local flood and drainage schemes.

LTP proposals include work on the Lower Clutha flood and drainage scheme at a cost of $3.5 million, work on the Lower Taieri flood protection scheme costing $7.1 million, and completing the construction of the Leith flood protection scheme in Dunedin at a cost of $12.3 million.

Dr Palmer said capital works in established schemes are generally funded by the depreciation reserve built up for each of the schemes, and maintenance work is funded by targeted scheme rates.

However, because depreciation reserves are not always sufficient to cover capital investment, increases in targeted rating are proposed in the Long Term Plan, supported by internal borrowings.

For the Lower Taieri, the planned $7.17 million in additional spending is made up of $6.07 million in increased scheme protection, and renewals/replacements of $1.1 million.

For the Lower Clutha flood and drainage scheme, the planned additional spending of $3.5 million during the life of the Long Term Plan is made up of $1.29 million in spending on further infrastructure protection, and $2.18 million on renewals and replacements.

Projects involve renewing and replacing existing scheme assets to maintain levels of service, including replacement of drainage pumps, culverts, and bridges.