Pipeline proposal chosen by board

The Roxburgh Community Board has decided to push ahead with construction of a pipeline between Roxburgh and Lake Roxburgh Village to improve drinking water.

Board chairman Stephen Jeffery said tender documents were being drawn up and the next step would be to ensure tenderers could do the work within the $600,000 budget, which is to cover the pipeline as well as reservoir repairs and capital works such as the pump station.

In November, the board invited submissions from the community. Seven were received, all but one in favour of the pipeline.

Brian Ferguson, of Roxburgh, said in his submission the proposed option was unacceptable.

"The water should be treated at the Hydro [Lake Roxburgh Village] and then conveyed to Roxburgh via the pipeline. Surely gravity-fed water must be cheaper than than to pump uphill."

However, Mr Jeffery said "the reality is that there is no water at the Hydro that we can use.

"The only available water for the town has to be pumped out of the lake, but it has to be cleaned to get it up to drinking standard."

An option raised in the submissions, by Caroline and Richard Tamblyn, of Coal Creek, was to build a cycleway on top of the pipeline.

Mr Jeffery said while the board liked the idea, they could not include that as part of the tender.

The Ministry of Health approved a grant of $38,000 for the Lake Roxburgh Village water system upgrade but a second funding application had been declined, as the village did not meet new deprivation index eligibility requirements.

The grant was given specifically to upgrade the supply or fix the present plant, but at a board meeting in October, Mr Jeffery said it was expected the grant could go towards the pipeline.

The Central Otago District Council had intended to upgrade the water systems separately and a grant of $330,000 had already been given for the Roxburgh supply upgrade.

The remaining amount would be funded through a loan, expected to take 20 years to repay.

The pipeline option will have a higher initial cost than the estimated $360,000 to upgrade the Lake Roxburgh water-treatment plant, which was the other option, but ongoing costs associated with the pipeline are expected to be much lower.

If the board chose to upgrade the treatment plant, the effect on water rates was expected to be $42 a year, which would rise to $48 a year after 20 years to take into account the need to upgrade and because no subsidy would be available.

With the pipeline option, however, the effect on water rates was expected to be $20 a year for the 20 years of loan repayments. Once the loan was paid off, that cost was expected to reduce.

The pipeline option also gave the opportunity for new water connections to be established.

- sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz



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