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The Invercargill City Council is $9million short of funding it hoped to get from the national transport agency to help maintain roads and pathways.

It had requested $51million from the NZ Transport Agency for the next three years as part of the national land transport programme.

However, council roading manger Russell Pearson said in a report the grant was $9,203,456 lower than asked for — the total allocation was $41.83million for the 2021-24 period.

The amount was better than what had been previously indicated by the transport agency, however was still lower than the budget set in the council’s asset management plan.

Part of the requested programme included $4.25million over three years for the council’s city centre street upgrade, but the application was not successful.

Mr Pearson said the implication was the council’s work programmes would need to be reviewed or to be deferred.

‘‘Council could choose to undertake additional works without subsidy in some areas however in general that would not be seen as a cost-effective outcome.

‘‘During the three-year programme, work will need to be prioritised again and further risk considered in decisions to best protect key assets and look to best manage levels of service wherever possible.’’

He also said the drop in funding reduced the footpath budgets to about $800,000 per annum, leaving a significant gap in the renewals programme of work.

He recommended the council continue to invest about $1.3million in its footpath network per annum for the three years of the current long-term plan, noting that about $500,000 of that budget would not receive transport agency co-funding.

‘‘Funding allocation for footpaths is recommended to be increased above that available from WK [Waka Kotahi] and be funded by council.’’

The report will be received by councillors during its infrastructural services committee meeting next Tuesday.

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

The Invercargill council made the strategic error of not asking for cycleway funding - that would have had NZTA purring and offering up unlimited taxpayer-funded largesse.

 

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