Sewerage plant land deal kept under wraps

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 22/02/2013

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Construction of the controversial Himatangi sewerage scheme got under way this month, but the council is tight-lipped about how much it spent securing land for the $8.7 million scheme's treatment plant.

In a Manawatu District Council council meeting yesterday, the public was excluded while councillors discussed how much it would spend on the site.

Speaking to the Manawatu Standard afterwards, the council's infrastructure group manager, Hamish Waugh, would not elaborate on what was discussed due to "commercial sensitivity", but said it was the formal conclusion of negotiations with a private property owner.

The information would be permanently confidential, he said.

The council took possession of the wastewater treatment pond site on February 1 and is now in the process of building the 2-hectare pond, which is located 1 kilometre from the township.

"The pond is very deliberately out of the way, behind a raised sandbar, surrounded by forestry and out of the public eye ... it's even downwind of the town," Mr Waugh said.

The bulk of the site's earthworks should be complete by early next week, with drainage work to follow.

The total contract price for the work was worth more than $4 million, including the pond construction, Mr Waugh said.

The council was pleased with progress and had put past controversy surrounding the scheme behind it, he said.

PLANNED SCHEME TIMELINE

February - Wastewater treatment pond construction begins.

March - Drainage and pump station installation starts.

December - Target completion date.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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