We can also report that a Telco consortium (Vodafone, Telecom, Chorus & 2 degrees) is actively investigating locating a Cell Phone Tower in the catchment to cover Tarawera, Okareka and the Blue Lake. Apart from the obvious benefits mobile coverage will bring to residents, tourists and the business community, saving lives is a compelling reason for us all to support this project.
We have now completed our first full year managing the DOC Okareka Camp Ground off Millar Road and it is pleasing to report the financial return we receive from DOC has exceeded expectations and will be used in part to fund the walkway from Boyes beach to the DOC camp ground. The roster of volunteers managing the maintenance, cleaning, guest details and money collection etc is very efficiently organized by Sandra Goodwin to whom we owe a special thank you for the time and effort that goes into this camp.
The Regional Council is continuing to evaluate the options to upgrade the Outlet Structure thru to Lake Tarawera and details are as follows:
- A closed circuit TV investigation of the outlet pipeline showed severe deterioration of surfaces and joints affecting hydraulic performance and the pipeline estimate of its remaining life is less than 5 years.
- The pipe from the outlet to the control valve is scheduled for replacement in the 2014 financial year and staff are currently finalising cost estimates, detailed design and the consents required.
- Other control measures such as a weir are a possibility as is electronic replacement of the manual control valve.
A major project for LOCA in recent years has been to improve the Reserve Area at the boat launch jetty area to ensure the possibility of accidents to swimmers and boats is minimized. To this end we conducted a survey of views of residents and users of the area (dog owners, picnickers, swimmers, parents of young children, fishermen, boats of all shapes and sizes, Duck Tours and of course the Harbour Master and Council/DOC/Te Arawa/Fish and Gamestaff etc.
A detailed submission from LOCA has recently been made to the District Council and followed up with it also going to last week’s Rotorua Lakes Community Board meeting.
The multi use of the area and need to keep it aesthetically appealing has been a challenge and progress has been slower than hoped. However we continue to welcome feedback from the community and your support.
With the cooperation of the weather we have had another successful Carols and Father Christmas Picnic as part of the Preschool nativity play. Our thanks go out to the Sallies band, Fire Force, Father Christmas (thanks George), Robin Trewin and all the other volunteers who contributed towards a very pleasant evening.
Cathy Lines and Werner Schefer have very kindly donated and had installed a Sky Aerial to the community hall which will give users of the hall another facility for entertainment, presentations etc. If anyone has a large screen/freeview box surplus to requirements we can now offer a good home for them!!.
We look forward to 2014 with Rotorua having a new Mayor and CEO and already consulting with residents on a long term vision for the District. Affordable rates, new property valuations and changes to the District Plan will all be watched with interest.
LOCA has had a busy year and I have been fortunate in having a very supportive committee for which I am very grateful. Thank you team and in particular Sandra our very competent and tireless Secretary. Also thank you to the many residents and supporters who volunteer their services to help make Okareka a special place to live and holiday.
Geoff Palmer Chair