Last week, the council decided on the future of Palmerston North's wastewater.
Since 2018 we have been moving towards this decision about how best to treat and dispose of city wastewater in the most cost-effective way, while meeting new standards and expectations around safeguarding the Manawatū River and our environment.
We sought public feedback on what will be the biggest environmental and financial decision of the coming decade and, because of the impact it is going to have on city rates, many of you took that opportunity.
Thank you for your views and input into the Nature Calls consultation process.
From the options available, a 10-6 vote of elected members decided to go for the estimated $496 million option 2 – a mixture of river and land-based discharge at a high treatment level.
It will give us the best wastewater treatment in New Zealand and serve a growing city for the next 35–50 years.
Now, the council will start on the resource consent application process, with further details and information on the pncc.govt.nz website.
There will be opportunities for residents to have a further say during the Horizons Regional Council consent process.
During Covid lockdowns and restrictions, city seniors may have found themselves disproportionately affected.
Few public gatherings for seniors have taken place recently, snf help is available from the council with Covid and other related concerns and issues on (06) 356 8199. Council call centre staff will be able to direct you to an agency that can help.
The council also provides targeted services for seniors through City Library with free tech support from the Digits Charitable Trust, seniors-based sessions and a book delivery service for the housebound.
A range of council-supported seniors-related services are also available through Hancock Community House on King St and the Senior Citizens Hall in Main St.
Other agencies that work with Palmy's older people are starting to open up, though some with limited staff, so it is advisable to phone before going to see them.
Age Concern is open 8.30am to 3.30pm weekdays but please call first on (06) 355 2832.
The Grey Power Manawatū office is open from 10am-noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and can also be contacted on (06) 357 1930.
Thanks to all those who made submissions about city seniors' support and services to the recent 10-Year Plan. The council is in the process of establishing a Seniors Reference Group.
Coordinated by the council's community development team along the lines of the Disability Reference Group, this will provide a welcome forum for further feedback from older residents and should be up and running this financial year.
• Lew Findlay is a Palmerston North city councillor.