Water tower improvements ‘no brainer’

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    CARRYING out earthquake strengthening work on Invercargill’s water tower is a “no-brainer” decision, the City Council’s infrastructure and services committee meeting heard yesterday.

    The committee backed – in part – the recommendation of a report prepared by water manager Alistair Murray on the city landmark. The committee recommendation now goes to the full council. The committee agreed to upgrade the water tower to 67% of national building standards to reduce safety risks. It was closed in 2012 after the Canterbury earthquakes because of the quake risk.

    However, councillors said it was “too early” to explore the site’s tourism potential at this stage.

    They did not approve Mr Murray’s recommendation to have local service organisations operate visits to the tower. Mr Murray said the decision to strengthen the water tower was appropriate because of its “prime location”.

    If it collapsed, it had “the potential to cause a lot of danger and possible loss of life outside the tower”.

    The cost for the upgrade would be $1.3 million.

    Chairman Lindsay Thomas raised concerns of a “budget blowout” as the geotechnical investigation was not yet done.

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