City to build effluent site out in Hope

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 18/12/2012

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After seven years of deliberations over where to put its obligatory stock effluent dumping site the city council has finally decided where to build one - in Tasman District.

The decision to build one on private land near Three Brothers Corner in Hope was a "very good outcome" for an issue that had been hanging around for several terms of council, city councillor Gail Collingwood said at last week's policy and planning meeting.

She said it was equally important that the decision had been made with the support and agreement of the trucking companies and stock truck drivers.

The Tasman District Council has agreed to the project being built in its area on the condition it does not have to pay for it. The $80,000 design cost is to be split between the city council and NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

Construction cost is expected to be $50,000 depending on the site chosen which has not been specified, or anything up to $300,000. Ongoing operating costs would be handled by agreement between the operator and the city council and were likely to be around $20,000 a year.

They would be 43 per cent subsidised by the NZTA, which would source funding from the city council R funding (regional funding) pool. A stock effluent dumping site in Nelson remained a priority project for a share of the $22 million in R funds due to come the city's way,

The Nelson Mail reported recently that for 15 years or so, stock trucks and trailers have been required to have holding tanks fitted to collect waste from animals, but there have been few places in the region where they have been allowed to discharge their loads.

There is meant to be a network of effluent stations throughout the country built by government roading agencies and run by councils.

A private dump site at Hope, run by farmer-businessman Owen Baigent, was ordered to be closed recently after operating for 15 years without a resource consent and following a complaint about effluent flowing on to the Railway Reserve and a neighbouring property.

The district council said the dump site to be built was not on Mr Baigent's land.

The city council has long argued why Nelson should pay between $50,000 and $100,000 a year on effluent disposal, when it is largely an urban area with very few farm animals, and when most of the stock transported through the city to the meatworks comes from elsewhere, particularly Tasman.

The NZTA had identified a site in Hira as a possible location for the dumping facility, but the city council said it was too close to the Happy Valley stream and, because it is next to the state highway, should be the responsibility of the NZTA.

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A report to the city council said 13 possible sites within the city boundary had been identified over the past seven years.

In February the council supported an idea to build the facility at the Elms St pump station in Wakatu Estate, subject to further investigation by the NZTA and a funding agreement between the agency and the Nelson and Tasman councils. Elms St was later found to be unsuitable.

A stakeholders meeting in August agreed to look into four sites north of Nelson. A subsequent survey of stock transport operators revealed a "strong preference" for a site near the intersection of SH6 and SH60 at Three Brothers Corner. A further two possible sites in that area were added to the list.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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