The dust is swirling, the footpath outside the tavern is as smooth as a beer glass and protruding hebes have been given the heave-ho.
Road cones have arrived like bunnies at Easter.
Five months ago, the Manawatū Guardian visited Bunnythorpe after the village’s community committee made a submission to Palmerston North City Council on things that needed improving.
Council officers met with community representatives on September 15 and then produced a report listing work that needs doing.
The report was discussed by elected members this month. Acting group manager transport and development Bryce Hosking said neither officers nor contractors had the budget or capacity to address all of the issues this financial year.
Chief planning officer Dave Murphy said he was cognisant the Bunnythorpe community had absorbed a lot of change in the past few years and is projected to face more in the future.
He saw value in a grassroots village-planning exercise to inform infrastructure investment. As well as residents and the council, it could include agencies involved in the future of Bunnythorpe such as KiwiRail, the Ministry of Education and Waka Kotahi.
Mayor Grant Smith said when the council took Bunnythorpe on in a 2012 boundary change it also took on a lot of deferred maintenance.
“The rate take in Bunnythorpe is extremely small, the amount of work to be done is extremely large.”
Councillor Pat Handcock said elected members needed to be mindful that Bunnythorpe would be most affected by the expansion of the north-eastern industrial estate, Palmerston North Integrated Transport Initiative and KiwiRail freight hub.
Led by Waka Kotahi, the transport initiative is a package of projects designed to support the growth of freight distribution while also improving transport safety.
Handcock said it would be fitting to have a village plan to ensure the community has a voice and is able to shape what Bunnythorpe will look like.
When the Guardian visited last week, dead branches that had fallen from trees along the street and covered one-third of a section of Redmayne St had been removed.
The hebes that had been planted too close to the footpath between Baring and Raymond Sts have been removed.
The small park on the corner of Dutton St and Campbell Rd has been tidied up.
Footpaths in Dixons Line and Campbell Rd had been renewed and work was under way on resealing Campbell Rd.
Exercise equipment has arrived at the recreation ground but the new garden beds at the raised pedestrian crossing nearby remain a clump of clay and dead weeds.
The mud and concrete combo on the corner of Dutton and Baring Sts seems to have expanded.
Work to be considered in the Long Term Plan process includes replacing the roundabout surface at the corner of Campbell and Kairanga-Bunnythorpe Rds, a raised pedestrian crossing outside the school and traffic calming works for Maple St.
Quarterly meetings between council infrastructure officers and Bunnythorpe representatives have been set up with the next one to be held in December.