Projects put forward for funding boost post-lockdown

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Five “shovel-ready” North Otago projects worth about $60million will be considered for Crown Infrastructure Fund investment, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher says.

Applications for an $800million pool of funding, diverted from the Provincial Growth Fund, for projects that would immediately stimulate an area’s economy post-lockdown closed on Tuesday.

The types of projects the Government considered include water, transport, clean energy, and buildings.

They also needed to have a public or regional benefit, create jobs, be able to start within six months and each be worth about $10million.

Mr Kircher said council staff compiled a comprehensive list of projects that were earmarked to start, before settling on those that best met the Government’s requirements.

Those included work at the Oamaru water treatment plant in Reservoir Rd, where an additional water tank is to be constructed to increase future storage capacity; the Kakanui Bridge replacement project; investment in Oamaru Airport for present users to expand and potential users to utilise; further investment in water infrastructure at Weston and other areas, and aspects of the yet-to-be-approved Oamaru Harbour masterplan that Mr Kircher said there was “strong agreement on” from the wider community.

It was not yet known what percentage of the cost of the respective projects the Government would contribute, he said, and until that happened, any potential impact on ratepayers also remained unknown.

While it was unlikely all five projects would be approved, Mr Kircher said any government assistance would be welcomed.

“If we can get funding for even one of them, it will certainly help the district and our economy.”

Otago Daily Times