Financial support for residents living near a damaged wastewater treatment plant

Christchurch City Council will vote on a financial support package for residents directly affected by the stench emanating from the fire-damaged sewage treatment plant in Bromley at a council meeting on Thursday.

This follows a briefing provided by council staff on Tuesday following urgent discussions with partner agencies about how the city could help the affected community, and as quickly as possible.

It comes after residents at a crowded public meeting last Friday night demanded action from council over the horrendous stench they have endured since the sewage treatment plant caught fire six months ago .

Mayor Lianne Dalziel apologized profusely to the crowded community hall in Bromley.

She told John MacDonald on NewstalkZB that the advice “completely screwed up”.

The stench cast a veil over the city depending on which direction the wind was blowing and was described as “putrid” and “sickening”.

The mayor admitted there were days when pong was “completely overwhelming”. Some residents said they couldn’t sleep or open their windows.

Mayor Dalziel said residents living near the plant were the most affected by the stench.

“If you can smell it in Ilam, you can imagine what it’s like in Bromley,” she said.

“They told us their electricity bills have gone up because they use dehumidifiers and fans all the time because they can’t leave their windows open,” Dalziel said.

The Mayor agreed that given the exceptional circumstances and the additional costs the residents have incurred, “it is appropriate that they receive financial assistance from Council”.

“Advisors have indicated that they want to make support available to households in the immediate vicinity of the plant.

“We want to make this support available as quickly as possible. We also want to make it easy for residents to access the support they need. That’s why we’re working in partnership with existing community and government agencies,” said the mayor.

A demolition crew has moved the equipment to the site and will begin the task of scooping up decaying materials inside the processing plant next month.

An update on the situation will be provided to the Finance and Performance Committee on Thursday and will seek Council’s vote of approval on the funding and support program for the affected community.

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