Street surface irks ratepayers

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Close Pl ratepayers in Alexandra are challenging the Central Otago District Council to return their street to tarseal after it was covered in local gravel – a clay-like material – about three years ago.

Residents have had enough of the mess the clay creates all year round, and have called on the council to rectify the problem.

Barry Walker, who has a workshop on the street, said Close Pl, off Ngapara St, was either a dust bowl in the summer or a mud pit in the winter, with no in-between.

“And when it rains it floods.”

Mr Walker said half the problem was the clay had not been levelled and there was no drainage.

As a result, any rain ran straight into their properties.

Residents Wayne and Rose Skeggs’ property floods to the point they cannot get to their mailbox without gumboots.

Mrs Skeggs said guttering would be one solution.

“And, if nothing else, scrape it back to level it then [have it] tarsealed.”

Close Pl, which is classed as industrial, is a partially formed, un-maintained paper road.

Council acting infrastructure manager Peter Greenwood said roading staff arranged for placement of “local gravel” in 2015 to form an unsealed turning area at the top of the road.

“This was in response to complaints from users of Close Pl.

“Staff of council cannot undertake upgrade or routine maintenance of Close Pl because the road is not included within council’s roading hierarchy.

“The best approach from here is for the person concerned to approach council, explain why this section of paper road should be added to the hierarchy and formally request council add Close Pl to the hierarchy,” Mr Greenwood said.

Each of the concerned ratepayers had been to the council to raise the issue, but to no avail, they said.

They were disappointed to learn it was such an unkempt street despite being named after former mayor Ross Close.

“The fact it’s named after a mayor, it’s an absolute disgrace,” Mrs Skeggs said.

Mr Walker suggested the next step should be a worst streets of Alexandra competition, similar to the best street competition, to highlight areas that needed work.