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MDC pledges relief for Cockburn St residents

Interim relief is on the way for three properties worst affected by sewage overflows in Masterton.

Early last month, a group of Cockburn St residents made a plea to Masterton District Council [MDC] for a solution that would give them a reprieve from repeat sewage overflows onto their properties.

After heavy downpours, the residents have historically been supplied with portaloos because the overflows result in a loss of amenities.

It’s a problem that dates back at least 10 years.

At last week’s Infrastructure and Services Committee meeting, assets and operations manager Mike Burger confirmed MDC was in talks with residents of the three properties about interim relief.

The short-term solution was likely to be the installation of individual non-return valves and underground storage receiving tanks on each property.

Residents had also asked for their properties to be cleansed and analysed.

“It was confirmed and committed on the council’s side that the council will pay for the cleansing and will see the employment and engagement of an environmental organisation to do cleansing,” Burger said.

He also said easements were being discussed as the infrastructure would be
council-owned and maintained.

This was designed to be a temporary interim solution and was not intended to be a long-term fix.

MDC chief executive David Hopman said the work would not “actually solve the problems we’ve got” and acknowledged the scale of work the council needed to do to fix the wider network.

“We would rather solve the problems, and that’s where the money should be focused,” he said.

“However, we recognise the real problems these properties have been suffering.”

Councillors were pleased that help was on the way for the residents but acknowledged the issue impacted more than just the three properties.

Mayor Gary Caffell said the council needed to make it clear it was “not forgetting the other ones” affected by the issue.

Alongside site-specific solutions, progress has been made on letting five separate contracts to renew or reline wastewater mains, utilising some of the $2.25 million allocation of Better Off Funding from the government. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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