Horizons mulls wastewater plan

The case of the missing action plan for sorting out Palmerston North City Council's wastewater woes has been solved, but not before the council took a pasting from its regional counterpart.

Horizons regional councillors were given an update on the progress of the city council's sewage treatment plant at yesterday's regional council meeting and were told officers were waiting on the city to tell them what it was going to do.

"We wait with bated breath," said chief executive Michael McCartney.

"We are waiting to see what the situation looks like and we are waiting for a meeting with the mayor and his chief executive to get together."

Councillor Murray Guy said he felt Horizons needed to seize the initiative.

"It's not appropriate the city council is calling the tune. The public want to know what is going on and so do we."

However, a phone call from the Manawatu Standard revealed the city council had delivered all the necessary information to Horizons a week ago.

"I handed it to them [council officers] personally and it's online too as part of a public document. Anyone can read it, there is no secret," said city council waste and water services manager Rob Green.

"We feel we've done what we needed to do. If that report hasn't been passed on to Horizons councillors that's their problem, not ours."

Mr Green said he'd received a call from Horizons policy and planning manager Richard Munneke asking if he could give the report to his councillors.

"I thought that was strange as it is freely available to everyone."

The document was duly presented to Horizons councillors after lunch.

The city council had promised to deliver an action plan on how it was going to address the issues it was having with its wastewater treatment plant after excess phosphorous was discovered to be having an adverse effect on aquatic life in the Manawatu River.

The action plan was necessary so Horizons could look at reviewing conditions on the council's discharge consent next year.

Mr McCartney said it was important that remedies could be looked at as the city council would possibly need to include items in its annual plan.

Horizons said it had established what it needed to review but had left the consent in draft form while the specific causes and remedies of the adverse effects were being unravelled.

Mr McCartney said only certain conditions could be reviewed and the consent had to stay in an operable state.

Manawatu Standard