Substantial fieldwork increase prompts new storage facility

23 Dec 2016, 8:35 AM

Tenders are to be called early next year 2017 for development of a new central storage facility in Whangarei’s industrial area to house the wide array of equipment used to support an increasingly busy Northland Regional Council.

Council chairman Bill Shepherd says in 2004 the council began storing equipment at a sub-leased Robert St site, however, since then the council’s field work – and associated equipment – had increased substantially and the existing facility was now “vastly inadequate”.

“Storage is now required for additional boats, vessel quarantine facilities, oil spill equipment, bikes, trailers, kayaks, monitoring buoys, furniture, traps, poisons, events equipment, Civil Defence emergency gear, hydrology, air quality and farm dairy effluent equipment and various tools.”

Councillor Shepherd says the council’s equipment is currently scattered over several sites including its Water St head office, the Robert St facility and a storage shed in the Lower Port Rd area, the latter on a short-term lease and currently for sale.

“During certain times of the year, extra space also has to be leased short-term for Community Pest Control Area pest traps.”

In a bid to consolidate its equipment in a suitably large, purpose-built facility – and avoid both the risk of having to relocate again and rising rental rates – the council had recently spent $600,000 from a property fund on a 2167 square metre, fully-fenced site in Union East St.

The property already had an existing shed with a 200 square metre floor area that could house maritime and biosecurity equipment and the council will shortly call for tenders for construction of a second shed 10m deep by 35-40m wide, to be divided into a number of 5m wide storage units.

Councillor Shepherd says each powered and alarmed unit will have a roughly 3m roller door, a side access door and the tender also calls for construction of an up to 60 square metre wash down bay (including sump) for washing boats and bikes.

Tenders for the several hundred thousand dollar build will be called early next year and run over summer, with the contract expected to be awarded soon after.

“The new site is easily accessible to the Port Rd and Marsden Cove boat ramps as well as State Highways 1 and 14 and when complete, will be adequate for both current and future storage requirements.”

With about 160 of the council’s 180-plus staff based in its Whangarei head office, the development of a centrally located facility made sense.

Councillor Shepherd says the council hopes to see the new facility completed by the end of 2017.