Budgets for projects throughout the region are set to increase, after being approved by Whakatane District Council for inclusion in the current year's capital budgets and 2018-28 Long Term Plan.
In most instances, the increased costs involved are funded from asset renewal reserves, budget carry-overs, or other sources, with minimal direct impact on water, wastewater or storm water rates costs.
Capital Projects manager Jim Finlay says since the draft 2018-28 budget was approved for consultation in the Council's Long Term Plan, a number of projects had progressed through detailed design or tendering processes.
“That has seen the estimated costs increase in some instances, partly reflecting the nature of the projects involved, as well as the impact of the current high demand for civil construction services on contractor availability.
Projects which have had budget increases approved include:
• Water and wastewater services for the Shaw Road subdivision – where the work programme has advanced to meet earlier than expected subdivision schedule. It has a total cost increase of $525,000, with 98 per cent to be funded from development contributions;
• Otumahi Water Supply – remote control system installation and valve, bulk meter and connection works – there has been a 12 per cent increase in costs totalling $643,100 which is to be funded from Plains Water operating and renewal reserves;
• Ohope Water Supply main – a new main is to be installed from reservoir to West End Road/Pohutukawa Avenue, with associated valves and flow metering fittings – additional costs of $500,000 to be loan-funded;
• Whakatane Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade – installation of additional aquarators - $35,000 brought forward from LTP;
• Ohope Wastewater Ponds desludging – additional $140,000 to be carried forward from renewal reserve funds; and
• Murupara Water Supply mains renewals and backflow prevention device installations - $340,000 carried forward from existing budgets.
The report also set out forward-planning for the replacement of the Murupara wastewater treatment resource consent, noting that the 2018-28 LTP budget for renewing the wastewater system should be reduced to $3 million, with a further $6.14 million to be funded in the period beyond the 2018-28 LTP.