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The Star: April 06, 2017

14 Thursday

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The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday April 6 2017 15 News $800k to fight midge battle • By Sarla Donovan UNDER SEIGE: Shortland St resident Paul McKinley can’t have a barbecue at night because of the midges that descend on his house. Inset – A pile of midges collected off Janet Profit’s FIGHTING MIDGES at the Bromley wastewater ponds has cost ratepayers $800,000 over the past two years. But people living nearby say the problem is worse than ever. Midges breed in the ponds and they swarm light sources at dawn and dusk and settle on vegetation and surfaces such as windows and doors. Most of the money was spent last year, with $580,000 going into control programmes in 2016, more than double the usual spend. City council head of three waters and waste John Mackie said the extra money was a response to increasing complaints from residents and an unusually long summer. The city council has been working with a contractor to douse the ponds with a synthetic insect hormone, S-Methoprene, which caused a “significant reduction in midges leaving the ponds,” Mr Mackie said. Another treatment used in the past was stopped as it was “dan- window gerous to human health.” The chemical insecticide Malathion was discontinued in 2008 as it posed a danger to those applying it. Mr Mackie.said there was no associated risk to the environment or the public. Shortland St resident Paul McKinley said it was odd that in spite of the money being spent, the situation hadn’t improved. “It’s been worse in the last year. They seem to be a constant, even when the weather gets cool. We were eating them with our Christmas dinner. We can’t even have a barbecue or go outside at night.” Another resident who has lived in Shortland St for 30 years, Janet Profit, said the treatment the city council was using hadn’t done any good. “We still get them every night and they’re still there in the morning. Whatever they’re trying to do isn’t accomplishing anything near satisfactory.” Last month she raised the issue with the Coastal-Burwood Community Board, which has asked the city council to investigate. The $800,000 spent was more than the previous four years combined. In 2012 the spend on midge control was $190,000; 2013 was $150,000, 2014 was $170,000 and 2015 $150,000. The total spend for 2017 up until the end of March was $192,000. Mr Mackie said the city council was “working with our current contractors, other pest control companies and consultants to find alternative control programmes.” Hornby centre debate – mega or not? • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding THE PUBLIC will get to know the financial consequences of their decision if they choose to make the new Hornby library, service centre and south-west pool a separate facility. It is estimated $2.5 million of capital expenditure plus $150,000 for operational expenditure, is expected to be saved each year if the facilities are co-located into a Hornby mega-facility. The Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board held a submissions meeting on Friday to make final changes before the public consultation document is released to the public. Public consultation is set to get under way later this month on the controversial facilities. The draft consultation document said because separate facilities would cost more to build and run, the city council may not be able to provide as many services to the community. Community board chairman Mike Mora said he did not think the cost savings should be in the document. However, city councillor Vicki Buck argued people want to know the financial implications of their choice. SLEEP WARM & coMfoRtAbLE Experience better sleep on a Dreamwool Pocketspring or Natural Latex mattress. Filled with luxurious layers of natural wool and latex, enjoy better comfort and support with our unique Pocketspring systems and latex choices. Combine a Dreamwool mattress with a flexible slat frame for a modern look in your bedroom and experience even greater comfort, with easier bedmaking and more space. 22 Kennaway Rd • • Ph 343-5105