The last financial year has seen record levels of investment to make Hamilton’s roads safer, enable growth and look after the city’s key community assets.
A monitoring report delivered to yesterday’s Hamilton City Council Finance Committee meeting detailed $154M of investment in capital projects for the 2018/19 financial year, around $50M more than the previous year.
Hamilton’s 2018-28 10-Year Plan budgeted $2B for capital investment in the following decade. The Council’s Capital Projects Manager Chris Barton says projects are underway across the city.
“Some of the projects are highly visible, like the Hamilton Ring Road which will see Wairere Dr extended to connect to Cobham Dr, building the new reservoir in Ruakura, building three new playgrounds this year at Hillcrest Stadium, Mangaiti, and Innes Common or the safety upgrade at the Thomas/Gordonton intersection,” Mr Barton says.
“Others are in a preparatory stage, like the design work for the new Waikato River bridge to connect to Peacocke, planning for the Rotokauri Transport Hub to support a Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service, or the almost-completed design work for the final Hamilton section of Te Awa River Ride.
“Partnerships with other agencies are really important as we deliver new assets to Hamiltonians, including significant funding support from NZ Transport Agency and our relationships with neighbouring councils, including the Waikato Regional Council as operators of the city’s buses and the future rail service,” Mr Barton says.
Projects supporting different transport mode options have included installing 40 new bus shelters, 21 new accessible kerbs and 41 solar lights in the Orbiter route shelters, as well as work to develop business cases for new eastern cycle connections.
Capital work on community facilities includes the Central City Jetty, providing a safe spot for boats to dock near the CBD, moving the Clyde Park cricket block from Galloway Park to improve the pitch for Claudelands Rovers to play in the Northern League football competition, and building a toilet block and tracks at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park.
“As well as standalone projects, our capital programme is investing in renewal or improvements critical to residents across the city,” Mr Barton says.
“Examples are the work to upgrade our Pukete Wastewater Treatment Plant and our Waiora Water Treatment Plant, ensuring we can look after our existing residents while preparing to meet the needs of the thousands more people who will make Hamilton home in coming years.”
The city’s growth programmes are developing at pace, with the establishment of a Peacocke team immediately following the 10-Year Plan and design work underway to allow construction to start on more than half of the Peacocke capital programme by the end of next year.
In Rotokauri the recently-completed strategic wastewater and water systems provide capacity for the next 30 years of development. Stormwater management and roads in the area are also going through a designation process, while investigations into potential new funding partnerships with developers and government continue.
In the north of the city the Rototuna Sports Park is almost complete, with the finishing touches now being applied to five new soccer fields and two grass cricket pitch blocks. Concept development for the planned Rototuna Village, including a planned town square, library and community hub has been progressing in conjunction with feedback from the local community while walking and cycling routes have been improved.
Two key projects supporting growth in Ruakura are the urbanisation of Ruakura Rd and the construction of the Ruakura Spine Rd. A new strategic wastewater pipe is expected to be complete by the end of this year and the new Ruakura reservoir will supply water for the growth cell as well as increasing Hamilton’s ability to cope with emergencies.
Yesterday’s meeting received reports on weathertight buildings and the Council’s financial monitoring.
It also approved the Hamilton Airport, of which the Council are a 50% shareholder, to make the necessary financial arrangements to undertake a $13M makeover of its passenger terminal, and received the quarterly report for H3 event venues, which showed attendance across Hamilton City’s three major event venues reached more 558,395 in the 2018/19 year.