Park-and-ride option gets council backing

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Neville Atkinson
Neville Atkinson
The Waimakariri District Council is backing the creation of park-and-ride bus services for the district.

Park and ride facilities, waste reduction, urban development, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) funding, water supplies, rural leases and the Coldstream Rd tennis development were among the major topics discussed at the recent council meeting.

Councillors voted to endorse Environment Canterbury’s preferred park-and-ride option of four bus runs each week-day morning directly from Rangiora and Kaiapoi to the central city and returning each evening.

This would incur a $30 rates rise for urban ratepayers and $10 for rural ratepayers.

Deputy Mayor Neville Atkinson backed the proposal, saying ‘‘it’s already happening’’.

‘‘There’s half a dozen cars parked at Tram Road on week days, so we already know it works. This is an inter-generational change. If no-one starts it, then it will never happen, so our generation needs to start it.’’

Concerns were raised over the Ministry for the Environment’s proposed waste levy increase.

Cr Robbie Brine acknowledged the levy needed to rise, but not at the level proposed as it could have ‘‘a negative impact’’. But he hoped it would lead to a regional solution to recycling.

Councillors opposed a Department of Internal Affairs proposal to fund FENZ through rates, rather than insurance.

Mayor Dan Gordon said ‘‘volunteer brigades should be properly funded’’, including vehicles and function rooms, so they were not having to constantly fundraise.

Cr Philip Redmond suggested FENZ should be funded, at least in part, through taxation, as not all fires were related to properties.

Cr Atkinson began the meeting by commending the efforts of local volunteer firefighters in responding to last week’s Ashley River fire.

At present, the council has more than 490 leases and licences on council land, with around 265 for rural grazing and road crossings. The remaining 230 are reserves, commercial or community-based leases and licences.

A new land leasing and licences management strategy has been approved and can be viewed on the council website.

The proposed Coldstream Rd tennis development is proceeding to the resource consent stage to build 10 tennis courts. The council is contributing $1 million towards the project, with the Rangiora and Southbrook tennis clubs planning to make contributions from the sale of their existing sites.

Mr Gordon says the project is an important one for tennis in the district.

‘‘We are now at a point where this looks like it will be a reality which is great for tennis in the Waimakariri district. Tennis clubs around the district are very supportive of this happening because they see the value of this investment for the sport of tennis as a whole.’’

With work on Stadium Waimakariri progressing next door, contractors will be asked to link the services to the boundary of the proposed tennis site.

 

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