Flood protection costs reviewed

Flood hazard ratepayers on the Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek may find out in the New Year how much works to upgrade their protection will cost and when it will happen.

It has been about 13 years since the Otago Regional Council first looked at flood protection works and two years since the Environment Court appeal, on the resource consents granted in 2007, failed.

The Leith Lindsay Flood Protection Scheme project was estimated to cost $21.4 million in 2004, but given the time delay, the council had been reviewing the cost of the scheme, admitting it would be greater than originally thought.

Council chief executive Graeme Martin said at an engineering and hazards committee meeting yesterday staff were "endeavouring" to put a full report on the funding and timing of the scheme to the January meeting of the committee.

January was "the first opportunity and last opportunity" to have those changes considered so the required adjustments could be made to next year's long-term and annual plans, he said.

The issue arose as the committee considered a report altering the sequence of work planned for this summer on a reach of the Leith within the Botanic Garden.

Cr Duncan Butcher said he was concerned the council was being "piecemeal" about the proposed work and it could be more "prudent" for it to wait for the full report.

Chairman Stephen Woodhead said this summer's work needed to be done, was included in the annual plan, and he was happy for it to continue.

"It's easy to do and not a huge cost."

Environmental engineering and natural hazards director Gavin Palmer said doing the work on the area from Brook St to Gore Pl would not exacerbate the flood risk anywhere else on the river, but there was a risk in not completing the work on the high velocity channel.

The committee, except Cr Butcher, approved the new sequence of work.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz


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