Mowing Manaia's big berms back on agenda

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 27/05/2014

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The debate over mowing Manaia's big roadside berms is back on the agenda.

Yesterday's South Taranaki District Council annual plan deliberations were a chance for councillors to make small changes before the rates are struck early next month.

In a submission to the plan, Manaia postie Diane Meads and husband John tabled a petition urging council to step up its mowing regime.

The couple said mowing the berms only nine times a year wasn't nearly enough, and it often looked worse once contractors had moved through because they left large clumps of rotten clippings behind.

Councillor Bonita Bigham agreed something needed to be done.

"I don't think I can agree with the 26 times a year, although it would be ideal, but I do believe this needs to be seriously looked at."

Fellow councillor Phil Nixon said it was not the town's fault it was set up that way.

"It is our duty to certainly be doing something about it."

Council chief executive Craig Stevenson said the last time the issue came before council it took nine years to develop a policy.

"It was the subject of significant debate and of course Manaia is not alone."

Council staff will now investigate the options and report back before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, three Opunake projects are destined to get council backing to the tune of about $107,000.

Everybody's Theatre has been given $29,333 for a new kitchen area, $47,000 has been ear-marked for repair and maintenance work at the town's community pool and $30,000 will be allocated to help develop the beach front - including a new boat ramp and a sand removal programme.

The Hawera Memorial Theatre Friends Trust have also secured $25,000 to go towards their development programme and the Patea Oldfolk Association will get up to $5000 to revamp their hall.

The grants could push the proposed average rate rise up by 0.6 per cent to 3.85 per cent.

The plan still needs to be adopted by the full council on June 9.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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