The cost of painting town blue

PAINT JOB: The controversial blue lines in Bridge St cost $28,000.
PAINT JOB: The controversial blue lines in Bridge St cost $28,000.

A controversial paint job on Nelson's Bridge St cost $28,000 out of nearly $200,000 spent on upgrading the area.

The 68 blue lines painted on the footpaths have met with mixed reaction, mostly negative. In a Nelson Mail online poll 1430 votes, or 86 per cent, thought the lines were pointless.

They are part of the Nelson City Council's Bridge St enhancement project which had a $214,000 budget.

The Nelson Mail asked for a breakdown of the cost, which shows it came in under budget at $198,875 including GST.

The breakdown itemises "resin surface" costing $28,000 which includes paint, beads, application and site safety.

The white Milenio seats cost $35,000, while the timber for other seats cost $5000.

Lighting cost $41,000, the cycle racks and planters $18,500, and plants and soil $1000.

Demolition and installation were $22,000, while the design, supervision and fees cost another $22,000.

Nelson city councillor Matt Lawrey, in an opinion article in the Nelson Mail, defended the project.

"I backed the project because I could see that it would add colour to a part of town in dire need of it and because people had told us they wanted Bridge St smartened up. I'm also sticking up for the people behind it because if we always respond to anything different with knee-jerk negativity, Nelson will become a dull and predictable town rather than a colourful and interesting one," he said.

Online reaction included questioning the council's spending priorities, a lack of public consultation on what would be done in the enhancement project and criticism of not using Nelson talent.

Al Amo Stevenson, who asked for the breakdown of the cost, said: ". . . when you are going to spend almost $220,000 on painting lines on a footpath, I think the public should have a say."

Sista Lee Cowin commented: "I'm not against Nelson being arty and looking good. I'm against the fact that they aren't using the creative flair of Nelsonians."

Lauren Lewis said: "As one of the business owners on Bridge St, we are not against creativity at all. I do however think that if you had given Nelson sculptors $100,000 to make the seats and even $50,000 to emerging street artists they could have come up with something far superior to the lines and seats and could have become a quirky tourist attraction in itself."


Nelson City Council's Bridge St upgrade

Resin surfaces includes paint, beads, application, site safety $28,000

Timber for seats $5000

Milenio seats $35,000

Cycle racks and planters $18,500

Plants and soil $1000

Lighting enhancements $41,000

Demolition and installation costs $22,000

Design, supervision, fees etc $22,000

Total $172,500 plus GST $198,875

The Nelson Mail