Christchurch City Council is proposing to spend up to $1 million supporting the community most impacted by the stench from the city’s fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant.
On Thursday 26 May, the Council’s Finance and Performance Committee will be asked to ratify a community support package that will see financial help and other support offered to those living closest to the plant, which is where wastewater from all over Christchurch is treated.
After getting a clear signal from the Mayor and Councillors that they want to respond to local residents’ calls for assistance, staff will be recommending the Council commit up to $1 million to supporting the local community.
The money will come from operational savings the Council has made over the past year.
Staff are recommending that the Council use the money to help residents with the expenses they are incurring due to the stench and to provide support to schools and early learning centres in the area.
They are proposing that a small amount of money is made available to households within the area bounded by Buckleys Road, Pages Road, State Highway 74, and Linwood Avenue. About 3000 homes are within that area. Households will be able to request the financial help through the Council’s partner community agencies from Monday 30 May.
The report notes that staff considered the option of providing support through a rates rebate. However, they are not recommending that because a rates rebate would target property owners rather than the people living in the homes.
Thursday’s Finance and Performance Committee meeting begins at 9.30am and will be live-streamed. At that meeting there will also be a presentation updating Councillors on the work that is being done to reduce the stench and address the other issues at the wastewater treatment plant.