Roads again biggest concern

Mud on a Clutha district road in 2010, when road maintenance was also a hot issue. Photo by CDC.
Mud on a Clutha district road in 2010, when road maintenance was also a hot issue. Photo by CDC.
Road maintenance tops Clutha residents' list of concerns after the latest satisfaction survey.

Results from a telephone survey of 300 residents, reported to the Clutha District Council yesterday,

showed largely positive results, senior policy analyst Larissa Brown said.

But as the council ''faces significant challenges for roading over the next few years'' the level of maintenance of unsealed roads scored lowest on the satisfaction survey at 52%, despite an increase of 3% in resident satisfaction.

The survey results come in advance of public consultation on the council's draft 10-year plan in April, when it will propose a change to the council's approach to roading.

In the past, central government contributed 61% of the council's roading budget. Now that is pegged to drop to 59%.

The district has the third-longest network of local roads in the country and only 850km of the 3000km network is sealed.

''Council is working towards a proposal that instead of maintaining all unsealed roads to current standards, the focus will be on targeting funding towards the roads with the biggest economic benefit to the district,'' Mrs Brown said.

The council's district assets manager, Jules Witt, said in 2013-14 the council spent $3.27 million on unsealed roads and it had a budget of $3.30 million for the 2014-15 year.

He said work would be required to determine which roads provided an economic benefit and could not provide the Otago Daily Times more detailed information on how much would be spent on which roads.

He said, from the survey results, it was ''hard to know exactly what about gravel roads makes people unhappy''.

''Anecdotal evidence to council from regular road users, such as some truck drivers, is that this district's gravel roads compare favourably with gravel roads in other districts.''

Mrs Brown said topping the list again, with the ''near perfect score'' of 99%, was library services, closely followed by service or information centres which increased slightly from 96% to 98%.

Swimming pools had the biggest improvement in satisfaction levels jumping by 9% from a score of 59% in 2013 to 68%.

Footpaths received a satisfaction score of 59% and this was the service that showed the biggest drop in satisfaction levels from 2013 to 2014, falling by 12%.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said he was pleased the decision-making, planning and leadership of elected members of the council remained high at 80% after last year's score of 83%.

In the four years prior, from 2009 to 2012, decision-making and leadership averaged 51.5% satisfaction.


Are they satisfied?

The good:

Library services: 99%
Service or information centres: 98%
Community centre or hall: 95%
Parks and reserves: 93%

The bad:

Swimming pools: 68%
Local roads are appropriate for your travel needs: 66%
Taste and cleanliness of water supply: 64%
Footpaths: 59%
Level of maintenance for gravel roads: 52%



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