The six Dunedin community boards have made submissions on what they would like included in the Dunedin City Council’s forthcoming financial year. The Star asked the six heads of the boards “If you could have just one thing from your board area included in the 2020-21 Annual Plan, what would it be and why?”
WAIKOUAITI COAST COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRMAN ALASDAIR MORRISON
It’s hard to put one ahead of another but we want the feasibility study on the proposed Oamaru to Dunedin cycleway to be made public. Since making the submission, we’ve been told by the council it will be available in mid-June.
Then we’d know which way to go with getting the cycleway under way – whether it’s forming a trust or whatever, the first stage has to be the feasibility study. Other parts of our submission include asking council to look at road safety issues, a speed limit review and for the council to support us to get a better bus service in our area.
Getting a bus service that works is probably the most important [in regards] to the wellbeing of the people out here.
STRATH TAIERI COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRMAN BARRY WILLIAMS
I’d like Dunedin Railways to retain its train service to Middlemarch for the welfare of the community and tourism. For the long-term future of tourism we should be focusing on the domestic market. The cruise ships may never come back. The service could return to what it originally was – run by volunteers for the domestic tourism market. That’s still tourism eh? If we don’t retain it now and a future generation wants the service back, it would be unviable.
SADDLE HILL COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRMAN SCOTT WEATHERALL
The Saddle Hill Community Board does not tend to ask for large projects, but we do however ask for a decent basic level of service for all our communities.
We ask that our rural roads are well maintained, that pot-holes are filled in a timely manner, sports fields are playable and that vegetation is maintained, and that any safety issues are attended to in a timely manner and our communities are listened to.
It is the Saddle Hill Community Board’s role to positively advocate for our communities and we do that with pride and passion.
WEST HARBOUR COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRWOMAN FRANCISCA GRIFFIN
We need a public toilet on the shared path [West Harbour cycleway-walkway] at St Leonards.
The shared path has been very well used, up to and during Alert Level 4, and with the change to Alert Level 3, it only got busier.
There are no public facilities at St Leonards, and with the cycleway-walkway’s completion under way, the need for those public facilities will only increase.
MOSGIEL-TAIERI COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRWOMAN JOY DAVIS
Mosgiel-Taieri is one of the fastest growing areas in the city. Sections sell quickly, and a new 300-plus residential retirement village is under way. If I could pick one priority from our area to be included in the DCC Annual Plan, it would be upgrading our infrastructure.
Mosgiel’s rapid expansion is putting pressure on further growth, existing services, and affordable housing. Our main street (Gordon Rd) needs an upgrade. As State Highway 1, it is extremely busy and unsafe for our more vulnerable residents.
The new Mosgiel pool will provide opportunities to work on existing infrastructure as the build progresses. The Government may be prepared to partner with council, expanding planned work to upgrade waste and water systems, footpaths, roads, integrate transport, and build cycleways. Such investment may also mitigate the need for rates increases while providing much needed employment in these uncertain economic times.
OTAGO PENINSULA COMMUNITY BOARD CHAIRMAN PAUL POPE
A financial breathing space from rates and fee increases to soften the effects of the Covid-19 virus for our families and businesses.
The Otago Peninsula is now in a significantly different world, where the pandemic has irrevocably changed the business, educational and social structures of our community. The collapse of the tourism industry is devastating for the Peninsula and the Dunedin economy. As families and businesses face uncertainty over employment and viability, many face difficult decisions and tough times. It’s the board’s view that our community needs at least a 12-month period to allow people to recover mentally, financially and physically from the effects of the pandemic. This means not adding to their financial pressures, but allowing people to steadily rebuild and gain confidence in their futures. It doesn’t stop the City Council from continuing with its planned activities around infrastructure construction and maintenance, but defers some things for 12 months while we all take a breath and plan ahead.