Woodville's new look has locals in raptures

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 09/11/2012

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A Tararua town's fancy new facade has left residents rapt with the main thoroughfare's new spick-and-span look.

With new pavements, matching street furniture, redesigned gardens and landscaping work, improved parking facilities and pedestrian crossings and even special red boulders brought in from a farmer's property in the Ruahine Range - who can blame them?

Woodville Upgrade Residents Group chairman Peter Bonser said the project had given the town a new lease of life.

"It's been a dowdy town for a long time, and that's changed.

"We tried to lift the whole ambience of the street and started to make it look more summery.

"It's come out wonderfully, we're very pleased with the final result . . . it will give people pride in their town."

After more than four years of planning, months of construction and almost $1.5 million of funding by the Tararua District Council, the project is nearly complete.

Woodville's main strip, Vogel St, is done and dusted; the only work left is on adjoining Ormond St. This should be done by the end of the month.

It was not only the town's appearance that looked top notch; long-term infrastructural improvements had been made underground, Mr Bonser said.

This includes improved stormwater drainage systems and installing fibre-optic ducts, a process Mr Bonser calls "future proofing the place".

Now the new-look town is rid of the road cones, Woodville residents have responded positively.

Eleven-year-old Phillip Wesselsow, who has just moved to town from Feilding a few weeks ago, said he liked "scootering" on the new footpaths and thought the town's new facade looked fantastic.

"It looks better than before, and it looks better than some other towns I've been to - I bet some other towns don't look this good."

Woodville resident Elizabeth Burt, who has lived in the town for 64 years, said she was pleased the upgrade considered the community's safety.

"It's clean looking and it's nice that new crossings have been put in for everyone's use, especially for the elderly and children in town."

Woodville's Atmosphere Gallery owner Helmut Hirler said he had already noticed the difference.

"It's nice it's finally done because it's much more attractive. It's brought in more business, but that's not the only thing, more people are stopping in Woodville now."

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- Manawatu Standard

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