River access top priority among projects

The sign greets visitors. Photo: Linda Robertson.
Photo: Linda Robertson.
Kaitangata residents can look forward to several improvements to the town’s amenities under a new community plan.

The Clutha District Council approved eight project groupings as part of the Our Place Kaitangata Community Plan during its regulatory and policy committee meeting in Balclutha on Thursday.

The projects are ranked in order of importance, according to community feedback gathered earlier this year.

Top of the list is improving access to the Clutha River in the town.

Other projects include improvements to walking and cycling amenities; Kaitangata Pool; Victoria Park; the War Memorial Reserve; public toilets; roading; and the Wangaloa Domain.

Kaitangata has an existing boat ramp at the Water Street Reserve.

The plan makes several proposals for improving the facility and surrounds.

A report to the committee says any projects relating to the reserve would be community-led, with support from the council.

Improvements proposed in the report include additional vehicle parking; widening the boat ramp; and additions such as picnic areas, barbecue facilities and seating.

Supporting work could include bank erosion mitigation near the ramp, and possible amenities to improve wider access to the river, such as boat loading, swimming and kayak launching areas.

The council has approved $10,000, as a 50% share supporting the first phase of any project.

The balance would be found by the overseeing community group.

Although most of the proposals passed without comment from those present, two raised some discussion.

Cr Alison Ludemann suggested the council consider transferring its ownership of the Kaitangata Pool to the community group that operates it.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the pool committee might require further capital support towards failing infrastructure before any such move could be considered.

Kaitangata Promotions spokeswoman Joyce Beck also addressed councillors, supporting the pruning and removal of several trees around the pool.

The issue of the trees’ safety was first raised during a council meeting in April.

Mrs Beck acknowledged public tree removal could be a ‘‘controversial’’ subject, but reiterated several of the trees were ‘‘unsafe’’ and should be removed.

She did not believe the removal would affect the appearance of the surrounding reserve unduly.

The council adopted the plan unanimously.

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

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