Survey finds public support for track

A Southland community board is helping make a new pump track in Balfour a reality following strong support from its community.

Ardlussa Community Board chairman Richard Clarkson said that following a meeting about the proposal in June, it was agreed further engagement should be carried out with Balfour residents.

During this year’s lockdown, a survey was carried on social media asking residents about the possibility of constructing a pump track on Balfour on council land near Queen St.

A pump track is a cycle track which has an emphasis on speed.

Seventy-eight people gave feedback on the proposal; 96.1% of respondents supported it.

It also asked if residents agreed to the board using previously collected rates, held in its reserves, to fund the project at a cost of up to $80,000 — 94.87% agreed.

Mr Clarkson said it was a pleasing result which provided a good indication of community support for the project progressing.

"It has been a project which has been ... discussed within the community for several years, but just now is having some traction."

Mr Clarkson believed the total cost would be about $100,000.

However, he thought the board could save about $20,000 as many in the community had signalled they would be willing to donate their time, materials or equipment to the project.

"It is a project led by the Balfour community — we are just enabling it.

"The pump track would be something for our people — especially the young people in our community — to do in our region."

A meeting was held last week at Riversdale Community Centre and a report about the project was discussed by members.

The community board had contacted bike trail designer Tom Hey, of Queenstown.

"We don’t have a timeframe for [the project] yet, but would be great to have the pump track ready for the summer," Mr Clarkson said.

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