Flood protection ‘shovel ready’ projects get go-ahead
Flood protection ‘shovel ready’ projects worth $18.5 million, which are expected to create more than 100 jobs in Southland, have been given the go-ahead by the Council today (26/11/20).
Environment Southland publicly consulted on the opportunity to upgrade flood protection schemes in a co-funding arrangement where the Government pays 75% of the cost and the Council contributes 25%.
The consultation resulted in 13 submissions being received from 11 individuals/organisations. Ten were in support of the opportunity and one was opposed. The opposing submitter thought it was a good opportunity, but disagreed with the areas selected for upgrade.
The Government funding is part of its Covid-19 economic stimulus package. The Southland projects include upgrades and repairs to flood protection infrastructure in the Mataura, Waiau and Waihopai catchments and the pump station near Invercargill airport.
Deputy chairman Lloyd McCallum said the funding was a great opportunity for Southland.
“It’s been more than 30 years since central government put funding of this scale into Southland’s flood defences and it means we can improve the resilience of our communities years sooner than we would have been able to without it.”
The Government is providing $13.875 million (75%) over five years and Environment Southland will contribute $4.625 million (25%). For the Council’s share, up to $1.5 million is planned to come from reserves and options to fund the remaining $3.1 million will be consulted on next year as part of the Long-term Plan 2021-2031. The options include a targeted rate, reserves and borrowing.
Some of the work being undertaken this financial year includes rock work on the Mataura stop banks, upgrading and extending the stop bank at Boundary Creek upstream of the Mataura township, and the purchase of the new pump for the Lake Hawkins pump station on Stead Street (near the Invercargill Airport).
The need for upgrades in the Invercargill and Mataura catchments, and the replacement of the pump station near Invercargill airport had been flagged in the Council’s Long-term Plan 2018-2028.