Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Frustration at council's flood response

Gordon Rd resident Steve Johnson is at his wits' end dealing with the district council after being told speed bumps would be built before major flooding issues on the road are fixed.

After more than 10 years of putting up with major flooding during heavy rain, Mr Johnson thought the council was going to do something about it.

In July last year, The Daily Post met with Mr Johnson and his neighbours, who live next to a council-owned drainage easement on Gordon Rd, which overflows during heavy rain and turns into a raging torrent.

"They've come up and dug the drain out a few times ... and sent surveyors up to look at the problem. They're lucky no one has been hurt or drowned," Mr Johnson said.

But, after recently receiving a letter from the council explaining why they would soon be installing speed calming measures, in the form of speed bumps along the road, he could not believe his eyes.

"The letter goes on to say the reduction of traffic speed should provide a safer environment for residents.

"When will common-sense prevail and the council pull its head out of the sand and remedy this abomination? Does someone have to die before this happens? So much for making it a safer environment for the residents," he said.

Originally, the council said it would not be looking at the problem until 2019, but the council's works manager, Peter Dine, told The Daily Post a solution to the problem was not far off.

"The Gordon Rd easement issue and installation of speed cushions are completely unrelated matters and are addressed from quite separate programmes and budgets," he said.

Mr Dine said the council had bought an adjoining property which they take possession of in March.

"We plan to let a tender at that stage to undertake capital works to address this problem.

"Our long-term plan will address issues related to the wider catchment but this smaller Gordon Rd section work has been given priority and is being brought forward in the meantime," Mr Dine said.

As part of the programme the current drainage easement will be filled in and grassed, leaving property owners with the full use of their land.

He said the budget for the Gordon Rd traffic management programme was $15,000 with six "speed cushions" planned on Gordon Rd with two more to be installed on Upland Rd, similar to the ones built on Clayton Rd. The speed bumps are expected to be installed over the summer months.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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