Storm damage funding shortfall
A recommended of $2 million of unbudgeted expenditure has been made by Whakatane District Council to cover a shortfall in the cost of repairing transportation infrastructure damaged by severe storms in 2016 and 2017.
A report received by the Council’s Projects and Services Committee last week highlights ex-tropical cyclones Debbie and Cook in April 2017 as causing $5,910,508 damage to local roads and $15,851,479 of damage to special purpose roads.
The February and June events of 2016 resulted in $731,262 damage to local roads and $267,792 to special purpose roads.
Much of the remedial work has been completed, while some remains in progress.
Council’s response to storm events is undertaken in two stages - initial response and permanent reinstatement.
Initial response includes managing the event to minimise impacts on the safety of people and property; restoring access through removal of slips; stabilising damaged sites to make them safe and minimise the potential for further damage; restoring the functionality of drainage systems; and assessing and reporting on damage incurred.
Permanent reinstatement includes the investigation, design and repair to damaged infrastructure to re-instate pre-event levels of service and resilience.
The majority of the initial reinstatement phase following Debbie and Cook has been completed, with remaining works underway.
The initial response to the 2016 storms is complete, with permanent reinstatement sites at Matahi Valley Special Purpose Road, Manawahe Road and Galatea Road either completed or nearing completion. Scours at Manawahe Road still require investigation and repair.
Works yet to be completed on local roads will cost about $6.6 million, with NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) contributing up to 75 percent of that total. The total cost of work yet to be completed on special purpose roads is estimated at $8.9 million, all of which will be covered by NZTA funding.
The Committee recommended that accumulated funds in the Roading Storm Damage Reserve be utilised to contribute towards the funding shortfall.
It also recommended that projects and works scheduled in future years be included in the Long Term Plan 2018-28.