Union St upgrade worries

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Milton business owners have concerns as start dates for Clutha District Council’s (CDC) Union St upgrades approach.

‘‘We know the council wants to change the main road but there’s no real consultation,’’ Kevin Wightman, of Provincial Antiques said.

‘‘There are meetings and (CDC) seem to listen, but there’s no feedback. We don’t know what the final plan looks like or even whether there is one.’’

Union St business operators said what they knew of plans so far seemed to indicate little consideration for existing needs such as access for supply trucks and customers, or the proximity of planned destination toilets to residential dwellings.

‘‘In a small town like Milton, people need to be able to see your business and park right outside or they’ll just drive past.

‘‘We know (CDC) wants to put in trees which will mean leaves scattered all over show yards. They’ll interfere with parking availability and visibility for exiting vehicles, which is a safety issue,’’ Alvin Stevens, of Toko Trailers, said. In terms of Milton main street projects going ahead this year, CDC group manager service delivery Jules Witt said initial works would most likely be stormwater infrastructure and ‘‘maybe sewerage renewal’’.

‘‘We expect to be tendering for the water improvements mid 2022 and if all of them go ahead we expect a cost of $3 million. Plans are to break ground in the spring and it’s possible the overhead to underground cable relocation could happen at the same time.’’

He said council plans had been and inevitably would be subject to disruption and change, but that CDC had not yet signed off on a final plan for Union St.

‘‘We have listened to Milton residents and expect designs to be finalised within the next couple of months.

‘‘The designs are still a work in progress and we are still able to receive submissions and opinions via email through CDC’s website,’’ Mr Witt said.